In the wake of the border crisis that has led to huge chaos throughout the country, the government has planned another measure, collecting DNA samples of the detained immigrants. This is another one of the recent proposals that the government has brought into notice, safeguarding the citizens’ interests.
The Justice Department’s plan to develop the new proposal was permitted under the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005. It was to counter the CBP’s current practice of carrying out limited DNA collections, fulfilling obligations under the law.
Under the new proposal, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would soon begin tests to collect DNA samples of tens of thousands of immigrants booked in the detention facilities every year. As of now all the facilities in the country are holding more than 40,000 people.
Post collecting the samples, they would enter this data into a national criminal database, keeping a record of the nation’s immigration laws and the violations occurred every year. This would add up new records to the FBI, whose DNA database has been limited to genetic markers collected from the arrested people.
The use of technology would help the government to maintain law and order in the country that has totally been ruined under the current circumstances. With new proposals popping every day, the government is exploring all possible ways to halt the illegal entries through the US-Mexico border, while at the same time providing just services to the detained immigrants.
However, the facilities provided by the border federal custody have only compromised in the present due to a large number of asylum seekers, majority of whom are Central American refugees. Even though the government admits millions of legal immigrants every year, the crisis seems to be at no end. Illegal entries mixing with the US population is another governmental concern.
In opposed to many asylum seekers, who are still struggling to get a hold of their lives in the country, there lies another harsh reality. A federal report shows that since 2014, many foreign nationals have posed themselves as domestic abuse victims to obtain a green card for a permanent living in the country. The fraud spurred by a provision in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provoked these people to self-petition for a green card, calling it a valid act.
The investigators of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have urged the immigration authorities to keep a check on such fraud programs. By 2013, more than 13,000 foreign nationals have petitioned for green cards, keeping aside the pending cases.
The present move by the government have brought privacy concerns from the immigration supporters, who have been calling it a vulnerable act to collect DNA from children alongside the detained immigrants, entering through legal ports. They also added that it would be a huge threat for the citizens, who are at times accidently added into immigration custody and would have a negative impact on family members, who are permanent citizens of the US.
Keeping aside all the concerns, the move if followed without hindering the detained immigrants’ privacy would for sure help in identifying the fraudulent family units, who have been exploiting the special protections given to the families, presenting themselves with immigrant children.