Another move by the Trump administration to enforce the nation’s immigration law is to collect DNA samples from thousands of people who are booked in federal immigration custody every year. The results will enter the national crime database. This rule would allow the immigration officers to have the authority to collect the DNA across the country’s detention facilities, which are comprising of 40,000 people right now.
The operation of technology to enforce the nation’s immigration law would add thousands of new records in the FBI DNA database. The database currently is limited to have the genetic markers of the people who are arrested or convicted of serious crimes only, now would have the DNA of the detained immigrants too.
Congress passed a law to collect the DNA data in 2005 in which the immigrants were excluded for their protection. Now they are eliminating the law and collecting DNA of the children who seek asylum at the ports of entry.
The new proclamation is allowed under the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005. A pilot program initiated a new program in which the ICE agents used rapid DNA sampling technology to detect the fraud family units in which the children were disguised to be their own to get the special protection for families with immigration children.
The new program is different from the pilot program in a way that would give a comprehensive DNA profile of the immigrants, and the results will be shared with the law enforcement agencies, unlike the pilot program.
The DNA samples, once taken, will be handed to the FBI’s DNA database called CODIS to aid in identifying the suspects. Such sampling is creating a controversy of the potential abuse, whereas, in the past, it has helped in conducting prosecutions.
Even when the people are entering the country lawfully, this move is to criminalize unauthorized crossing of borders. President Trump has considered all immigrants to crimes even though immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens.
The homeland security officials confirmed that the officers would be trained to collect the DNA parallel to respecting the privacy rights of the immigrants. The asylum seekers are considered protected under federal asylum law. Still, one of the homeland officials stated that there is a criminal aspect to this population of immigrants. He added that crossing the border without documents is itself a transgression for first offenders.
A professor at New York University said that they do not know how many businesses these immigrants bring to our country or the ways they enrich our communities. Still, if the government has linked immigrants to crime, we may lose all the positive benefits from the immigrants.
In spite of the right to privacy for everyone in the US, within a 100-mile zone of the border searches are allowed by the Fourth Amendment, even of American citizens.
The introduction date of the law is not yet decided, but there are meetings held to discuss and implement it as soon as possible.