"United States immigration authorities have long recognized the need for an automated fingerprint identification system to quickly determine the immigration and criminal histories of aliens they apprehend. However, the inability of immigration and law enforcement fingerprint identification systems to share information prevents law enforcement agencies from identifying criminals and wanted aliens in their custody, and has led to tragic results in some cases. In a report issued earlier this year, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) described one such case, where border authorities twice released a man attempting to enter the country illegally. He subsequently returned to the United States illegally and traveled to Oregon where he raped two nuns, killing one. Because the federal government's immigration and law enforcement fingerprint databases were not linked, the immigration agents who stopped and released him at the border never learned of his extensive criminal record. See OIG report entitled 'IDENT/IAFIS: The Batres Case and the Status of the Integration Project,' March 2004 (Batres report). Congress has expressed increasing concern that the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) have not been integrated. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress required that the fingerprint identification systems of law enforcement agencies be made interoperable so that criminals and known or suspected terrorists can be more readily identified."
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Report No. I-2005-001
United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General: http://www.usdoj.gov/