Writings and observations

Probably there will be more such cases, but watch the numbers coming out of Yakima County.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has developed a program working with local law enforcement: Whenever someone is booked and fingerprinted by local law enforcement, those fingerprints are sent to a national database and matched against fingerprints of people who have been picked up previous on immigration issues. The idea, of course, is to catch illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.

Yakima County will be one of the pilot “Secure Communities” programs. A dozen other Washington counties are lined up to take part sometime after.

It is the first in Washington, but not in the Northwest.

In Idaho, Ada and Canyon counties have been in the program for more than a year (since June 3, 2010), and Kootenai, Bannock, Bonner, Bonneville and Twin Falls – between them, the largest counties in the state – were added this spring. The “The statewide cumulative number of convicted criminal aliens administratively arrested or booked into ICE custody” thus far is reported as 303.

In Oregon, four of the five largest counties (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion) joined the system in the spring or summer of 2010, and four more (Columbia, Clatsop, Jackson, Josephine) this year. The total “criminal aliens administratively arrested or booked”: 989.

It’ll be useful to see how the numbers develop over time.

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