Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Editorial: Illegal immigration program has merit

Yet another effort to address illegal immigration is being surrounded by controversy.

The federal government is rapidly expanding a program to identify illegal immigrants using fingerprints from arrests, drawing opposition from authorities and advocates who argue the initiative amounts to an excessive dragnet, according to The Associated Press.

The program, called Secure Communities, has received less attention than Arizona's new immigration law, but it may end up having a bigger impact because of its potential to round up and deport so many illegal immigrants nationwide.

Under the program, the fingerprints of everyone who is booked into jail for any crime are run against FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records to determine who is in the country illegally and whether they've been arrested previously. Most jurisdictions are not included in the program, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been expanding the initiative.

Since 2007, 467 jurisdictions in 26 states have joined. ICE has said it plans to have every jail in the country by 2013...

[Full Article]