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Program removes few illegal immigrants from SD

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.

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.


Information from: Argus Leader,