The Washoe County (Nev.) Sheriff's Office now has access to a federal database using fingerprints of convicted criminals to determine immigration status, as well as criminal history.

The county, which includes Reno, became the first in the state to begin using the database, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The program, called Secure Communities, is expected to arrive for Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, by 2013.

The resource is provided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help local authorities identify high-risk illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes such as homicide, rape, kidnapping or drug trafficking, among other violent offenses.

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