The Department of Homeland Security is drafting plans to greatly expand DNA identification of migrants who plead for asylum or try to sneak across the border, according to Buzzfeed News.
The Trump administration wants to enable Customs and Border Protection officials to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants in its custody, according to a draft policy obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The move will likely inspire the anger of civil liberties and immigrant advocates, who argue that the government should not draw sensitive personal information from people without being tied to a specific crime.
Administration officials cite a statute — the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 — that allows federal agencies to collect DNA from individuals in their custody, including those who are not American. But previous DOJ regulations exempted agencies under the Department of Homeland Security — including CBP and ICE — from conducting such collection in certain circumstances.
The DNA testing would build on pilot projects which are being used by officials to confirm or refute relationship claims made by adults who bring children to the border. Border officials say those DNA tests have revealed dozens of cases where adults were bringing someone else’s child to help trigger the Flores catch and release loophole.
The DNA testing would improve the border agencies’ policy of identifying migrants by their fingerprints, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
“They already take their fingerprints, and so this is a more effective way to identify a person … and fraudulent claims of family relationships,” he told Breitbart.
If implemented, the new policy will help border agencies tie migrants to crimes throughout the United States. “I guarantee when they do this, they will find various bad guys who are in some other [police deabase] system,” he said.
The Department of State conducts DNA testing on refugees to verify claims of family unity, he said. The DNA testing was launched after the discovery of “massive fraud in the P3 program where [claimed] relatives of earlier refugees were admitted as [family unification] refugees … it turned out in virtually every instance, they were fraudulent.”
However, Buzzfeed spotlighted the opposition to DNA testing among from President Barack Obama’s former border officials:
“In many ways, it’s unnecessary from a law enforcement perspective,” said John Sandweg, a former senior immigration official in the Obama administration. “I don’t understand what you’re going to get out of it. The idea that some guy crossing the border committed a crime, returned, and came back all undetected is very remote.”
Breitbart News has repeatedly posted articles about the detection of criminal migrants who are attempting to return to the United States after being found guilty in U.S. courts.
— Bob Price (@BobPriceBBTX) August 29, 2019
EXCLUSIVE: 3-Time Deported Migrant Arrested in Houston Homicide Case https://t.co/ehwQK2dtuE
— Bob Price (@BobPriceBBTX) August 11, 2019
Read the Buzzfeed article here.