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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wake jail immigration checks to delve deeper

Posted by on Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 4:08 PM

For all of you prospective and/or perpetual criminals who feel that you've been left out of the 287g fun, take heart. The News & Observer reports that now everyone who is booked into Wake County jail will have their immigration status checked as part of a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pilot program.

Wake County is one of seven jails around the nation chosen to test the new fingerprint-based database, including detention centers in Gaston, Henderson and Buncombe counties.

Naturally, the ACLU is pretty apprehensive about the expanded searches:

The fingerprint checks mean that more of a person's personal information will be shared with law enforcement, said Rebecca Headen of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. "We're once again seeing criminal enforcement allied with immigration enforcement," Headen said.

The expansion of the program is dependent on the prerogative President-elect, say ICE officials. But the uncertainty over the future of the $350 million,  hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of some. Said ICE's assistant secretary, Julie Myers:

"The goal is to have a virtual ICE presence in every jail in the country."

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