U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with U.S. Representative Henry Cueller have announced that success with ICE’s biometric-enabled Secure Communities program will see an expansion of the initiative to an additional twelve counties in South Texas. The Secure Communities program is designed to remove illegal citizens living in the U.S. if they have been convicted of a crime by tracking biometric information of those entering the country.
The criminals with illegal immigration status are discovered through joint efforts between ICE, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Fingerprint records from criminal booking at prisons is compared with records in the FBI databases and biometric records kept by the Department of Homeland security of those legally in the U.S. So far the program launched in June 2009 in Laredo, Texas, has successfully removed more than 20,000 convicted criminal aliens. ICE is hoping for nationwide enrollment in the program by 2013.