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Illegal Immigrants Identified

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By Meymo Lyons

Fairfax County has identified more than 600 illegal immigrants over the past year using a jail fingerprinting program.

The county checks the fingerprints of anyone processed at the jail against an immigration database to see if officials have noted they should be deported. The Secure Communities program found 619 inmates with matches in 2009. Another 474 illegal immigrant inmates were identified in other ways. About a third have been deported; the remainder are in immigration proceedings or serving sentences.

Fairfax County was among the first of about 100 jurisdictions nationwide to participate in the program, which the Obama administration plans to expand to the nation's some 3,100 local jails by 2013.

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