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Biometrics IDs 111,000 criminal aliens

  |   Nov. 12, 2009 at 2:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- A federal-local law enforcement partnership using biometrics identified more than 111,000 criminal aliens in local custody in its first year, officials said.

"(The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program) Secure Communities provides our local partners with an effective tool to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday in a release. "We will continue to expand these partnerships to provide a force multiplier for ICE's immigration enforcement efforts across the country."

Secure Communities used biometrics to identify and remove criminal aliens, Homeland Security officials said.

"Access to timely and accurate information about state and local arrests is critical to identifying dangerous criminal aliens," ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton said. "By utilizing unique biometric information, Secure Communities dramatically increases the accuracy of criminal alien identifications."

Napolitano said the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department would be the next Secure Communities participant, joining 95 jurisdictions across 11 states that currently utilize Secure Communities.

Since it began October 2008, Secure Communities identified more than 11,000 aliens charged or convicted with crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping, and more than 100,000 aliens convicted of crimes such as burglary and property crime. Already, 1,900 aliens have been removed from the United States.

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