The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are partnering to identify criminals and high-risk travelers using iris recognition technology, according to an article from Biometric Update.

Last year, DHS began collecting iris and facial records from suspected illegal immigrants or immigrants arrested at border patrol stations. Now, the department is teaming up with the FBI and will exchange the digital eye scans of booked offenders, the article says.

The FBI recently made facial recognition tools available to local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. as part of a limited pilot project, with the intention of implementing the system nationwide in 2014, the article says.

The FBI’s traditional fingerprinting system is transforming into a $1 billion multi-modal repository, called the Next Generation Identification program, the article says. This program will be designed to advance the integration strategies and indexing of additional biometric data that will provide the framework for a future multi-modal system.

DHS collects approximately 300,000 fingerprints daily, and those are stored in DHS biometric databases, which as interconnected with those of the state and local law enforcement. Immigration authorities can cross-check foreigners’ prints against booked individuals’ prints through a program called Secure Communities, which is managed by DHS.