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Immigration Law

Traffic Stops Snag Illegal Aliens

Posted Jun 13, 2007 11:14 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Hundreds of thousands of names of people with outstanding deportation orders are being added to a national FBI database.

That’s bad news for illegal immigrants stopped for traffic violations, the Washington Post reports. Police search the database for outstanding warrants and in some jurisdictions they are detaining the traffic offenders for deportation.

In Montgomery County, Md., near Washington, D.C., police have detained about 60 people on immigration warrants since last year, the newspaper says.

Immigration advocacy groups sued the government contending it does not have legal authority to add administrative deportation records to the database for criminal warrants. A federal judge dismissed the suit, and the groups have appealed.

The FBI began beefing up its database with the records after the Justice Department issued an opinion concluding that local police have broad authority to enforce immigration laws.

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