Friday, December 09, 2005

FBI database wrong 42% of the time

When checking the FBI database for immigration status of detained individuals, local law enforcement agencies are getting bad data.

Dec 9 - The nation’s central immigration-status database frequently gives police officers wrong information, unfairly complicating matters for two out of five accused suspects and taxing local law enforcement resources, according to a study released yesterday.

Released by the Migration Policy Institute, a liberal, nonprofit think tank, the study found that officers received "false positives" 42 percent of the time when checking a person’s legal status against the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center. The study was based on Department of Homeland Security statistics gathered between 2002 and 2004.

"The data suggest that asking police untrained in immigration law to detain people based on bad records is of dubious law enforcement value," report co-author Michael Wishnie said in a statement accompanying the study.

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