US Government proposes to collect DNA samples from migrants in custody

Earlier this year, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service deployed DNA tests in seven locations along the border between Mexico and the United States to determine family relationships amid concerns that some people were posing as families to be released in the United States. Since then, the agency has expanded DNA tests to three additional locations on the southern border.

DHS is currently working under the exceptions established almost a decade ago. In 2010, the then secretary of National Security, Janet Napolitano, requested an exemption for the collection of DNA from the DNA fingerprints Act of 2005, including migrants in custody who did not face criminal charges or pending deportation proceedings, citing the lack of agency resources at the time of collecting DNA.

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