RALEIGH -- Five North Carolina counties are joining a program to deport illegal immigrants. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that eight counties helped deport more than 3,100 inmates last year. Orange, Harnett, Duplin, New Hanover and Buncombe counties are joining a program called Secure Communities. It gives jails equipment that uses inmates' fingerprints to check immigration status and criminal records and automatically alerts immigration officials. The program is similar to one used in eight counties that trains local officers to interview immigrants and begin deportation. The new program doesn't require extra training. Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace says deputies won't be detaining people to get their fingerprints. He says he will use the program for people already in jail. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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