D.C. May Block Fingerprint Sharing Program

Bill would prohibit police from sharing information with ICE, FBI

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Tuesday, May 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:46 PM EDT
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D.C. May Block Fingerprint Sharing Program

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The D.C. Council is considering a measure that would pit it against Arizona when it comes to immigration. It would prevent police from joining a program that shares fingerprint data with federal immigration authorities.

All 13 members of the council support the bill. It aims at prohibiting D.C. police from transmitting arrest data to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Councilman Phil Mendelson called it a strong counter to the immigration bill recently passed in Arizona, allowing police to check anyone's immigration status.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier has expressed interest in joining the Secure Communities Program. Under the program, inmates' arrest and booking information is sent to ICE and the FBI regardless of conviction. Several other jurisdictions in the region participate in the program.

As of now, the bill has been referred to the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee, which Mendelson chairs. If it passes in committee, the full council will vote on it.

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