Cops Have New Tool at Their Fingertips

The San Diego Sheriff's department is the first in the state to receive a new system for checking the immigration status of inmates.

Every person booked into the three largest jails in the County would have his or her fingerprints checked.

ICE announced several months ago the program would be implemented in Southern California. It is already used in 48 counties across the country.

David Venturella, ICE's executive director of the program, says agencies will be able to use arrestees' fingerprints to access a federal immigration database. Venturella says the system will also notify his agency when an arrestee in these counties is foreign-born.

He says the goal is to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes.

Officials say the new system does a better job of sharing information between different agencies to help check immigration status.

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