Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Harris County Sheriff's Office Moves Ahead and Moves Behind

Turns out that the Harris County Sheriff's Office was using jailers as immigration officers without the permission of the Commissioners Court.  So they stopped, but it was announced that the program could resume within once it is approved.

Most significantly, the Sheriff's office is now the first in the country to be using a state of the art fingerprint system that will give jailers information regarding the suspects citizenship or residency status.  What an honor - or insult.  Lets hope the computer doesn't make mistakes.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office has suspended a program that allowed local jailers to perform the duties of an immigration officer because Commissioners Court never authorized its implementation, a county official said today.

Commissioner Steve Radack said the Sheriff's Office plans to put the matter on the agenda for Tuesday's court meeting and could resume the program immediately after an affirmative vote...

On Monday, ICE announced that the Sheriff's Office had become the first local law enforcement agency in the nation to test an automated fingerprint check system that gives jailers full access to suspects' immigration history.

The new program provides a seamless and simultaneous check of immigration and criminal history by linking the FBI's database with DHS's database, known as IDENT (the Automated Biometric Identification System), officials said Monday.

Commissioners Court did not have to sign off on the implementation of that program, and it will continue, Martin said.

No comments: