The government expansion of the U.S. Immigration and Custom's Enforcement Secure Communities program has coincided with a record number of U.S. deportations this year. Immigration officials announced that 393,862 individuals were deported during Fiscal Year 2010. Roughly half of the deportees in 2010 were convicted criminals. Individuals can be deported based upon specified grounds after a removal hearing in an Immigration Court.
The Secure Communities program uses technology to compare fingerprints of individuals held in local jails with fingerprints recorded in ICE and FBI databases. In 2009 the program was in operation at 95 detention centers across 11 states. That year the program detected 11,000 undocumented foreign nationals who had been accused of major crimes, according to John Morton, the Homeland Security assistant secretary for ICE. The program currently has been implanted in 891 detention centers and is recognized in 35 states.
In 2010, roughly 195,000 individuals with criminal records were removed from the country. Around 90,900 individuals were taken into custody by the federal government after being identified through the Secure Communities program.
ICE has filed removal requests and deportation proceedings have begun against over 49,000 of the individuals. As many as 5,275 individuals are being deported for level 3 violations, which include traffic violations. 13,700 individuals were acquitted of criminal charges in 2010, but have immigration cases pending based upon documentation.
ICE deported just under 390,000 individuals in 2009. The agency has set a goal of 404,000 removals for next year. ICE reportedly has also indicated that it intends to pursue companies that hire unauthorized labor more harshly in the coming year.
Source: FOX News, "U.S. deports record number of migrants in 2010," 29 Dec 2010