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District Joins Illegal Immigrant Tracking Program

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By Meymo Lyons

D.C. police will join other local police departments in a federal program that checks the immigration status of every person booked into a local jail.

The District is joining the Secure Communities program, which matches inmates' fingerprints against a federal database to identify illegal immigrants before they are released. The program began in 2008 but is being expanded under the Obama administration to focus on illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

Fairfax County is one of 95 jurisdictions in the program. It differs from a national effort that deputizes local police to question suspects about their immigration status. Montgomery County also provides names of anyone arrested for a violent crime to immigration authorities.

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