Trump administration to expand DNA collection at border , The Trump administration is planning to expand the collection of DNA ,
From migrants who cross U.S. borders, and to include the information in a massive criminal database operated by the FBI. The effort is separate from and much broader than the rapid DNA testing done on families at the U.S.
Two senior Homeland Security officials, speaking Wednesday to reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing effort, said the Department of Justice was crafting new regulations and details were being discussed in a working group, but it’s not known when it would be implemented.
The collection comes after a huge increase in the number of people crossing the border, mostly Central American families. Officials have since said the numbers went down following crackdowns, changes on asylum and agreements with Central American countries ,
But border officers and agents have voiced concern over the potential for criminals crossing while resources were stretched. The practice would allow the government to amass a trove of biometric data on migrants,
Raising major privacy concerns and questions on whether such data should be compelled even when a person is not suspected of a crime other than crossing the border illegally.“It’s not surprising, given this administration’s fixation on villainizing folks at the border,
But it reaches beyond them,” said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Vera Eidelman. DNA also contains identifying information on their families, too. Eidelman said it changes the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation to population surveillance.
A top Border Patrol official recently warned that expanding DNA collection at the border could hurt the orderly processing of migrants. During a deposition in a case involving families separated at the border, Brian Hastings,