Colorado law enforcement agencies will soon have access to federal immigration and criminal databases allowing them to promptly identify illegal immigrants at the time of an arrest. According to this news report, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Secure Communities program allows police officials to check fingerprints of people under arrest against the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s criminal history records as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration records.
Colorado will become one of 10 states in the nation that participate in this program including California, Florida, Massachusetts and Texas. ICE is apparently planning to roll out the program nationwide, with parts of Colorado beginning to participate this year. How is this different from the current system? Instead of calling immigration officials and waiting for an answer, local law enforcement officials will be able to instantly screen all arrestees for immigration status.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of a crime or charged with a crime in Colorado, you are already facing serious consequences. They may include jail time, hefty penalties, losing your driving privilege or your professional license. In addition to all those consequences, now an arrestee in Colorado also faces the instant possibility of being deported.
With immigration laws tightening and penalties increasing, it is absolutely critical that you consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are arrested. It is in your best interest to talk to a knowledgeable and skilled Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer before you make any statements or enter a plea. The experienced defense team at The Bussey Law Firm will fight hard to make sure your legal rights are protected and help you build a strong defense strategy in your case. Contact our firm today for more information.