Nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants and legal residents with green cards who ran afoul of the law in the New York area were detained by US immigration last year - a startling 43 percent increase over fiscal year 2007, records show.
IMMIGRANT JAIL SURGE
The increased vigilance by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, especially those stationed on Rikers Island, led to the spike over 2007, when about 7,000 incarcerated immigrants were detained for deportation proceedings, officials said.
It's not clear how many of them were actually deported.
The number of jailed immigrants snared by the government is expected to balloon under a recently announced Department of Homeland Security program.
The program, called "Secure Communities," gives local cops conducting standard FBI criminal-fingerprint checks access to suspects' immigration records - and sends a computer alert to the feds.
The pilot program is being tested in five counties in Texas and North Carolina and is expected to spread to 45 cities this spring.
It will expand nationwide within about four years, said Richard Rocha, an ICE spokesman.