The Obama Administration has altered the Secure Communities federal fingerprint program used by local law enforcement agencies to identify criminal illegal immigrants.

New guidelines are designed to focus on deportation of more violent illegals, while reducing deportations of illegals who are crime victims or witnesses. Also, prosecutors will be given more leyway in seeking deportations.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued the new guidelines for its Secure Communities program where law enforcement agencies share fingerprints of suspects held in local jails with federal immigration authorities.

Up until now, the program has been credited with increasing deportations. Here's an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times about the program's impact:

The fingerprint-checking mechanism has helped the administration find and deport a growing number of illegal immigrants with criminal records or multiple immigration violations. It was the major reason behind an increase of more than 70% in deportations of convicted criminals in two years - from 114,415 people in 2008 to 195,722 in 2010.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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