New technology to ID ‘criminal aliens’ at Fayette jail
Starting Tuesday, illegal and legal aliens convicted of a previous crime face deportation
Starting tomorrow, people booked into the Fayette County Jail will be subject to “biometric” fingerprint scans to identify aliens “both lawfully and unlawfully present in the United States.”
Fayette County Sheriff Wayne Hannah said the program will allow for a much quicker determination if an arrested person is a “criminal alien” or not.
In the past, criminal aliens may have been released back into the community in part because the system to identify them was too slow, Hannah indicated.
The federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) considers a “criminal alien” to be a person who is an alien, whether legal or illegal, who has been convicted of a crime.
Such persons can be removed from the country, and ICE “continues to take action on aliens subject to removal as resources permit,” according to the news release.
The biometrics program will search both the FBI criminal history records as well as immigration records kept by the Department of Homeland Security through its automated biometrics identification system, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
If the fingerprints match those of someone in the Homeland Security database, federal immigration officials will automatically be notified. Those officials will determine the next course of action, placing a priority “on aliens convicted of the most serious crimes first — such as those with convictions for major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping,” officials said.
“The use of biometric information will more accurately identify an individual as opposed to relying on them to provide us their name and birth date, which could easily be falsified,” Hannah said.
Since this system began in October 2008, immigration officers have removed more than 58,000 aliens who have been convicted of a crime from the United States, officials said.