Customs and Border Protection officials using a new electronic fingerprint
system caught more than 23,500 criminal suspects at U.S. borders during a 91-day
period earlier this year, the agency announced recently.
apprehended were all foreign nationals who the agency said had criminal
records. The agency used the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification
System, a device that scans all 10 fingerprints and compares it with Customs
and FBI databases, agency officials said in a release.
The system is designed to enable Border Patrol agents to
quickly identify people who have outstanding warrants against them or who have
criminal histories. The system electronically compares their fingerprints with
the national databases.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert C.
Bonner called the system a “critical law-enforcement tool for our CBP Border
According to the agency, among those captured using the
system during the period – which ran from September to November 2004 – were 84
homicide suspects; 37 kidnapping suspects; 151 sexual assault suspects; 212
robbery suspects; 1,238 suspects for assaults of other types; and 2,630
suspects implicated in narcotic-related charges.
– By Mark H. Reddig, associate editor