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Immigration agency plans to extend inmate screening

DALLAS – The federal government plans to expand screening of arrestees' legal U.S. residency to every jail in the country, America's immigration enforcement officer said in a visit to Dallas Wednesday.

The effort would be similar to the program under way in Irving that has resulted in the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Julie Myers, assistant secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, stressed that the new Secure Communities plan's first priority will be people convicted of violent crimes.

Myers talked of ICE expanding its reach into all the country's jails largely by getting immigration databases to work together and identify people in jail or prison who can be deported. But the program is not expected reach all jails for another three-and-a-half years.