Program Targets Dangerous Illegals

New Mexico – A program started by the federal government will help law enforcement agencies in Bernalillo County accurately identify and remove dangerous illegal immigrants from the community.

The Secure Communities program, administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, uses biometrics to help determine whether an individual arrested by a participating state or local law enforcement agency is a dangerous criminal illegal immigrant who may be deported.

The program can be used by agencies that use electronic booking machines. In Bernalillo County, this includes Albuquerque police, state police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.

Federal officials say the program has already been implemented in about 80 counties, including Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties in New Mexico. It's expected to be available nationwide by the end of 2013.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.