San Diego County sheriff's deputies today became the first law enforcement personnel in California to have access to technology that uses fingerprints to determine whether jail inmates are in the country illegally.
The technology is part of the Secure Communities program administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the program, the fingerprints of everyone booked into the county's three largest jails will be checked against U.S. Department of Homeland Security records.
Prior to the program, fingerprints were used only to check for criminal records with the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Our goal with this ICE effort is to use information sharing to prevent criminal aliens from being released back into the community, with little or no additional burden on our local law enforcement partners," said Secure Communities Executive Director David Venturella.
Last year, San Diego County sheriff's deputies released more than 6,500 jail inmates to ICE agents for deportation.
"(We've) been working side-by-side with ICE for many years in an effort to identify criminal aliens booked into our detention facilities," Sheriff Bill Kolender said. "This new technology will enhance our partnership and bolster our commitment to keeping our communities safe."
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego.
Veterans are being honored across San Diego County during Memorial Day weekend and dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were among those spending their Saturday placing American flags at burial sites at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
With thousands of San Diegans expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, lifeguards are on high alert and a have a few warnings for those headed to the water.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is scheduled to visit local Navy personnel in San Diego and Coronado next week, her office announced Saturday.
A 30-year-old Vista man was arrested for drunk driving and failure to yield Saturday morning after leading Carlsbad police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect crashing into a pole, according to authorities.
A man, possibly armed, and holed up inside a home in the Bay Park community for about four hours Saturday surrendered to police without incident.
Vacationing homeowners were hit by thieves in Mira Mesa, but thanks to a smartphone app, the crooks did not get away with it.
Signs warning people to stay out of the water are once again posted in Imperial Beach after a new spill from Mexico dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River - polluting the South Bay.
Two defense contractors were sentenced to prison Friday for conspiring to steal more than $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton that the military had planned to ship overseas to treat injured Marines.