Georgia ranks sixth among states for the number of undocumented immigrants deported through Secure Communities, a federal fingerprint-sharing program now used in jails across the country.
Under Secure Communities, everyone booked into a jail is fingerprinted and those prints are checked against millions of others held in DHS databases.
As of November of 2009, 5,044 non-citizens have been deported or have voluntarily left the United States, according ICE numbers. Nearly half – or just a bit less than 2,000 involved people booked into Gwinnett County’s jail. Gwinnett ranks 16th for deportations among more than 2,100 counties that were participating in the program as of Jan. 31, according to ICE.
California holds the No. 1 spot among states with over 65,000 deportations, followed by Texas, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. Three quarters of all counties nationwide now use the program, and the goal is for it to be up in running in all counties nationwide by 2013.
Nationally, the largest single group of people deported through the system had committed the least serious offenses - misdemeanors or those punishable by less than one year behind bars, the records show. In Georgia, 34 percent of the inmates deported through the program were misdemeanor offenders. Only 19 percent (or minority) of those expelled had committed the most serious crimes, including murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor.