Cops Have New Rules at Their Fingertips

Law enforcement agencies in three Southern California counties will soon be able to check the immigration status of arrestees when their fingerprints are taken.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the so-called "Secure Communities" program is scheduled to begin this month in San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

ICE announced several months ago the program would be implemented in Southern California. It is already used in 48 counties across the country.

David Venturella, ICE's executive director of the program, says agencies will be able to use arrestees' fingerprints to access a federal immigration database. Venturella says the system will also notify his agency when an arrestee in these counties is foreign-born.

He says the goal is to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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