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Program removes few illegal immigrants from SD

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An effort to find and remove illegal immigrants with criminal records from South Dakota has led to the deportation of five people in the first five months.

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Some state lawmakers say the small return shows that the federal government's strategies are ineffective. Others see the numbers as a sign that South Dakota's immigration issues aren't pressing enough for an Arizona-style law that could fill state jails with international offenders and draw costly legal challenges.

The Secure Communities Initiative asks jailers to send the fingerprints of every new inmate through a federal database to quickly identify illegal immigrants who most could pose a danger to the community. The Argus Leader reports that of the almost 4,500 sets of prints scanned in South Dakota, only 12 have prompted action by immigration officials.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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