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Department of Homeland Security to start collecting DNA from illegal immigrants taken into custody

In April, federal immigration authorities will start collecting DNA from illegal immigrants that are taken into custody. The DNA will be entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which can be used by law enforcement to search for DNA that matches samples that are collected at crime scenes.

 “Today’s rule assists federal agencies in implementing longstanding aspects of our immigration  laws as passed by bipartisan majorities of Congress,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said in a statement. “Its implementation will help to enforce federal law with the use of science.”

Although many illegal immigrant activists as well as those in the media would like everyone to believe that this a newly created program of the Trump administration, it is actually the implementation of the DNA Fingerprint Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by then President George W. Bush in 2005.

Obama administration exempted CBP from collecting DNA from illegal immigrants

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security made the rule to not collect DNA from immigrant detainees, saying it was too expensive.

The Department of Justice decided to change the rule last year and remove the exemption put in place under the Obama administration after a whistle blower complained that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was evading the enforcement of the law as a result of the exemption.

It is obvious that all whistle blower complaints do not receive the same response from Congress. The DNA Fingerprint Act was passed by Congress and was not being enforced. Does anyone remember Congress losing their collective minds over it and holding endless investigations to get to the bottom of it? Of course, you don’t, because that never happened. Instead, enforcement of this law has been labelled as racist and xenophobic.

ACLU floats conspiracy theories about enforcement of the law

Naureen Shah, a senior advocacy and policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lashed out at the DNA collection of illegal immigrants with the following very bizarre, conspiracy theory laden rant:

“Collecting the genetic blueprints of people in immigration detention doesn’t make us safer — it makes it easier for the government to attack immigrant communities, and brings us one step closer to the government knocking on all of our doors demanding our DNA under the same flawed justification that we may one day commit a crime.”


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been collecting DNA samples from illegal immigrants under a pilot program since January and also under a separate three-month pilot program last year that the acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan claimed had uncovered dozens of cases of false parental claims at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Related News Stories

Wall Street Journal. “Trump Administration to Collect DNA from Immigrants taken into custody.” March 6, 2020.

NPR. “Trump Administration Poised to Start Collecting DNA from Immigration Detainees.” March 6, 2020.

Voice of America. “US to begin collecting DNA samples of immigrants in custody.” March 6, 2020

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