U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) are sharing a new fingerprint database to identify foreign nationals, documented or otherwise, taken into custody in Florida. Previously, fingerprints taken from arrestees were only compared against the Department of Justice’s fingerprint database.
The program allows local authorities to better identify foreign nationals who have been arrested and if they are deportable under immigration laws. ICE receives this information and evaluates the case to determine the individual’s immigration status and take appropriate enforcement action. In most cases, ICE will issue a detainer which prevents the release of the jailed individual. The detainer may limit an individual’s ability to access an attorney, dispute charges, and get out of jail on bail.
The database is available through ICE’s Secure Communities strategy, which aims to improve and modernize identification and removal of criminal foreign nationals. ICE now shares biometric information in 392 jurisdictions in 23 states.