Sheriff Touts Biometric Technology to Fight Cross Border Crime in Texas


Biometric technology is increasingly being used in counties on the Texas border to boost border security.

A report in the Valley Morning Star noted the border sheriff’s departments in El Paso and Cameron counties were getting biometric technology which combines iris-scanning with fingerprint- and facial-recognition capabilities.

The technology was obtained via a partnership by the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition. It followed a presentation by BI2 Technologies President Sean Mullin at a meeting in Austin in 2017.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio was impressed by the presentation. He said the system will be installed at his department headquarters. It is used in the intake/booking process. Lucio said the technology may eventually be used in the field with handheld scanning devices.


Biometric technology

The system will allow the department instantaneous access to state, national and local law-enforcement and criminal-justice databases to allow deputies to recognize a suspect.

Lucio said the system will be invaluable in the apprehension of unlawful immigrants. He said it’s not uncommon for people caught entering the United States illegally from Mexico to give the authorities fake details like names and dates of birth.

Once their details are contained in the biometric IRIS system, they won’t be able to conceal their true identities or arrest histories, the sheriff said. He added:

“Once we scan them I don’t care what name they give you, we’re going to find out if they have an arrest record and when and where they were arrested. It’s just a great tool for law enforcement. It really helps in the long run. We’re really excited about it and looking forward to start working with it.”

The Valley Morning Star article stated BI2 is providing the system free to El Paso County and the Cameron County sheriff’s departments for three years. The company is federally funded to cover the complete rollout. The cost is estimated at $2,500 per device each year.

The technology was installed and operational in the first two counties by the end of April. B12 noted it’s compatible with records-management systems used by many sheriff’s departments.

Lawrence “Larry” Guerra, SBSC executive director described it as an additional tool to keep our communities safe.”

Every year thousands of immigrants cross the border to the United States. Many undocumented immigrants face detention and potential deportation.

However, immigrants have made an important contribution to our economy and way of life. If you or a family member is facing deportation, we can file a cancellation of removal action. Find more about the process here.

Contact our experienced Texas family immigration lawyers at  (512) 399-2311.

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