Immigration status will be checked for all Dallas County Jail inmates

Jailers in Dallas County will soon be able to check an inmate’s criminal and immigration histories — simultaneously.

The “Secure Communities” program will expand to more than 50 jails around the country by next spring.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the project will allow officials to use fingerprints to access both federal criminal and immigration records.

When a suspect’s fingerprints match those of a non-U.S. citizen, ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center will electronically be notified so agents can evaluate the case.

Local law officers can’t act against those flagged by the Homeland Security database unless they’re trained and authorized to enforce immigration law under ICE supervision.

Dallas County and Wake County in North Carolina are scheduled to begin using the program tomorrow.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston recently began using the program.