Biometric database helps identify repeat illegal immigrants

Authorities are using a Homeland Security Department immigration database that tracks past arrests to stop a policy that allowed illegal border crossers to return home with no penalty, the top U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said, Aliya Sternstein writes in Nextgov.

In the past, undocumented aliens who were arrested but had no criminal history on record or were using an alias were given "voluntary return." Now authorities have the tools to catch forged identities and quickly pull up data on a person's previous infractions. The IDENT database gets fingerprint data for all foreign nationals entering the United States -- data that's hard to fake -- and allows government officials to cross-check them against the digital prints of known offenders, the article continues.

Alan Bersin, commissioner of Homeland Security's CBP said, "We're beginning to see a deterrent effect in who tries to cross again and where they cross," the story said.

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