'Secure Communities' program seeks 'criminal aliens'Posted: Updated:
A federal immigration enforcement program is picking up steam.
The Secure Communities program screens inmates' fingerprints to see if they are in the country illegally and if they have criminal records.
A total of 47,000 people were deported in the last 18 months after their fingerprints were checked. Ice says about half of the immigrants they've deported so far this year were convicted criminals.
"Our goal is to make sure that we prioritize for removal from the country those who had committed crimes. It can be anything from homicide to aggravated assault, burglary, you name it," says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Secure Communities is used in Arizona and in all 25 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border.