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Federal immigration database change inspired by sex assault case

It isn't just Colorado that takes sex crime allegations extremely seriously; the U.S. as a country leaves little room for sex assault suspects to come out of a criminal case with any privacy or integrity intact. Sex crimes are so widely stigmatized across the country that it's not uncommon for an individual case to effect national change.

An out-of-state rape case, for example, has sparked a national upgrade to a database headed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, called INDENT. The database is meant to keep track of immigrants who have been deported out of the country. Now, officials will be putting effort and lots of money toward storing the fingerprints of the deported immigrants in the database.

But why the recent increase in attention on this issue? As we mention above, a sexual assault case moved officials to better track the fingerprints.

According to The Washington Post, an immigrant from El Salvador committed a sex crime while he was in this country illegally. What really irked officials is that the suspect had already been deported from the country at the time when he was arrested for the rape charge. He reportedly returned illegally, was arrested for a minor charge but was not deported after that because the INDENT system didn't notify authorities of the immigrant's status. A month after that minor arrest, the same man was arrested for the sex crime that he was later convicted with.

Sources report that $5 million will go into the enhanced use of the INDENT system, including putting the manual prints of deported immigrants into digitized form within the federal database. This will potentially result in more swift action taken against immigrants who are here illegally. Officials also believe that the change will prevent illegal immigrants from committing crimes in the country.

Source

The Washington Post: "Fairfax County rape case leads to national database upgrade," Tom Jackman, Jan. 17, 2012

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