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Immigration and Counterterrorism Databases Now Automatically Linked

The Associated Press reports that the Obama Administration is now using a new system, known as Secure Communities, to identify individuals who are in violation of their visas. Formerly, immigration databases were checked manually; the new system is automated to simultaneously check immigration, law enforcement and security databases, determining which individuals have overstayed their visas or require further investigation. This new automated program is designed to eliminate human errors and allow for broader searches. While the focus is on counterterrorism, the new search capabilities will speed identification of a variety of visa violations. To view the entire article, see
Secure Communities has been in effect since 2008, and while the Department of Homeland Security plans for each state to participate by 2013, this system has received continued criticism. This summer, several states withdrew from the program stating that Secure Communities is not accomplishing the main goal of removing foreign nationals who are convicted of serious crimes, and instead may undermine local law enforcement agencies by deterring reporting of criminal activity. For related articles, go to the following links.

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