Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland
Security (DHS) program developed to
identify deportable criminal aliens in local
CHARLOTTE, N.C.-New Hanover, Duplin and Orange counties have been added to a growing
list of North Carolina counties participating in a program developed by the Departments of
Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) that bolsters the ability to identify and remove
dangerous deportable criminal aliens in local custody.
Known as Secure Communities, the program administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE), provides ICE and participating local agencies immigration history
information available for all individuals booked into the jail.
Formerly as part of that booking process, arrestees' fingerprints were taken and checked for
criminal history information against the DOJ biometric system maintained by the FBI. With the
implementation of Secure Communities, the fingerprints of arrested individuals will now be
simultaneously checked against both the FBI's criminal history records and the biometrics-
based immigration records maintained by DHS.
If an individual's fingerprints match those of a person in the DHS fingerprint system, the new
automated process will notify ICE and the participating agency submitting the fingerprints. ICE
will evaluate each case to determine the individual's immigration status and take appropriate
enforcement action. Top priority will be given to offenders who pose a threat to the public safety,
such as aliens with prior convictions for major drug offenses, murder, rape, robbery, and
"Secure Communities is a new effort to identify and ultimately remove dangerous criminal aliens
from our communities," said Executive Director for ICE Secure Communities David Venturella.
"Our goal with this ICE program is to use technology to prevent criminal aliens from being
released back into the community, with little or no additional burden on our local law
Duplin County Sher