County Executive Leopold Activates Secure Communities Program to Identify Illegal Immigrants
Federal program provides access to 5 million records
Annapolis, MD (December 28, 2010) - County Executive John R. Leopold today announced that he has activated Secure Communities, a federal program that uses fingerprints and large databases to identify illegal immigrants upon arrest for local charges.
"A fingerprint does not lie," County Executive Leopold said. "Secure Communities is another way local governments can partner with federal law enforcement to identify those who are in this country illegally. This is a valuable tool that eliminates the possibility of racial profiling in identifying illegal immigrants at the point of arrest. Anne Arundel County is proud to be a strong partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
Secure Communities links local law enforcement with 5 million additional data records in identifying those who are wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Secure Communities enables ICE to utilize a federal biometric information sharing capability to identify aliens arrested, charged and booked by local law enforcement. It does not authorize, nor permit, state or local law enforcement to enforce immigration law. Whenever an inmate is fingerprinted at booking, the information is compared not only against Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records but also Homeland Security’s Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT), which includes data for ports of entry, border patrol, temporary visas, terrorist watch lists and visa denials.
County Executive Leopold has established a balanced approach in dealing with illegal immigration at the local level. In his first term he signed Executive Order 24, which prohibits any company who hires or harbors illegal immigrants from doing business with the County. He assigned a police detective to serve as a liaison to federal immigration officials and improved the speed of communications to identify and deport violators. He also provided funding to groups that aid legal citizenship and training for businesses to comply with federal immigration laws.