June 22, 2010
A federal initiative to identify illegal immigrants through enhanced fingerprint-checking at local jails is in place throughout Virginia.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and state Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli said Monday that Virginia is one of 22 states in the "Secure Communities" program, which is expected to go nationwide by 2013.
Previously, fingerprints of people charged with crimes were checked against a criminal-history database maintained by the FBI. Now they also will be run through an immigration database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. If the prints match information in that system, ICE will be notified to determine the person's immigration status and take enforcement action, if warranted.