Friday, May 20, 2011

Hundreds of “Criminal Aliens” Identified in Mo. (KMOX-MO)

Hundreds of “Criminal Aliens” Identified in Mo.
Megan Lynch
May 20, 2011 5:00 AM

Since last winter, Missouri officials have arrested hundreds of immigrants accused or convicted of previous crimes.

More than two dozen counties in Missouri send fingerprints for anyone they book on charges to a federal database controlled by immigration officials. The idea is to identify aliens who may have been arrested in other places.

Between November and April police in those counties discovered more than 700 aliens with a past record. Roughly 400 were located in St. Louis City and County.

Statistics from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reveal about 100 were charged or convicted of serious offenses ranging from major drug crimes to violent crime.

Under the program, suspects are tried by local courts before federal officials step in. At the end of March, nearly 30 had been kicked out of the country.

Prior to the electronic fingerprint sharing, officials say some repeat offenders were slipping through the cracks.

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