ICE announced in February, 2011 that it would begin using biometric identification as a key component of an information-sharing nexus with 58 California counties meant to identify aliens who are booked for crimes by local police. However, a Freedom of Information Act request by several justice organizations revealed a program involving extensive Homeland Security coordination to expand the Secure Communities biometrics program to include even law-abiding American citizens.

The progression of Secure Communities has been warp speed, as 27 states have implemented its procedures. Minnesota is the latest to add itself in full compliance with the mandatory federal biometric ID program.

However, a pattern of deception by the federal government from the onset, as well as ignoring the growing criticism, is making it clear that rather than being a specific initiative to deport known criminals, Secure Communities is looking more and more like a sweeping move toward a Big Brother total surveillance grid.

Secure Communities is part of the Next Generation Identification program that has been rolled out to supplant the current fingerprint database known as IAFIS. Full biometrics are added to fingerprint information, including: palm scans, voice imprints, iris scans, facial recognition, and other body signatures that form an identity dossier of every individual. Once established, the dossier can be analyzed and communicated in real time between local law enforcement and federal agencies to theoretically deport “illegal and dangerous immigrants.”

Concerns have been raised by privacy rights advocates and Constitutionalists alike. The biometric dossier is compiled on anyone caught within its web; it then becomes the property of law enforcement agencies even if your biometrics (and DNA) are picked up as latent imprints at a crime scene. This makes everyday movements part of a tracking grid that can be cross-referenced beyond the court of law, potentially leading to false suspicions, interrogations, and arrests.

ICE is already under investigation for misrepresenting its intentions; and the wider role of the FBI, and its push to make mandatory what could have been voluntary, only furthers the suspicion that forcing states to obey federal mandate has intentions that far surpass documenting and deporting illegal and dangerous individuals...