A Virginia Congressman asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide local law enforcement agencies with access to digital fingerprints for all criminal, illegal aliens. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) announced that funding to digitize the fingerprints of all criminal, illegal immigrants be included in the DHS 2012 spending bill.
Wolf is asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to improve its Secure Communities database after a criminal illegal alien was arrested for public drunkenness, but later released when his fingerprints were not identified by law enforcement computers.
Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a known MS-13 gang member, was rearrested just four weeks later for raping an 8-year-old girl in Virginia. Last October, Portillo-Saravia pled guilty on two felony charges of rape of a victim under 13, as well as sodomy. Courts will sentence Portillo-Saravia next month.
“This tragic incident identified a critical shortcoming in the Secure Communities program: immigration fingerprints taken on paper prior to 2005 were often not included in the database,” Wolf said in a statement. “Unfortunately, many local law enforcement agencies were unaware of this gap in the system and that manual searches were still necessary.”
The House Appropriations Committee promptly responded to Rep. Wolf’s request to ensure criminal illegal aliens fingerprints are properly digitized and added the necessary funding to update the database.
“The Secure Communities database is an important resource for state and local law enforcement,” Wolf said. “I will continue to work to ensure this system is operating as it was intended (in order) to help protect our communities.”
The following is the illegal alien digitized fingerprint language included in the FY 2012 bill;
Improving Immigration Enforcement Activities
A total of $12,000,000 above the request is provided to improve immigration enforcement
activities, of which $5,000,000 is included in Secure Communities for digitization of paper fingerprint cards from legacy immigration files. Both the House and Senate reports outlined areas for focus (such as) developing a comprehensive strategy to address the visa overstay problem, modernizing the Alien Criminal Response Information Management System (ACRIMe) to support the identification of criminal aliens and individuals attempting to overstay a visa, enhancing ICE capabilities for law enforcement support for immigration- related inquiries from State and local law enforcement, and digitizing old fingerprint records. ICE is directed to brief the Committees, with US-VISIT and other DHS components as appropriate, on its plan for utilization of these funds, no later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act. ICE is also directed, in conjunction with US-VISIT and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to report to the Committees no later than 120 days e ate of enactment of this Act on the methodology of prioritizing files for the digitization effort as well as the overall projected cost of the project to ensure electronic availability of appropriate biometrics in IDENT.
USCIS, ICE, and the Executive Office of Immigration Review are directed to brief the Committees on use of digitized records, as required in the House report, no later than March I, 2012. USCIS is also directed to provide no less than $29,000,000 to continue conversion of immigration records to digital format.
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