Trump plans to collect DNA of those in immigration detention

Posted by Nikita on November 16th, 2019

Trump is soon going to introduce a new bill. As per this, people who pose as families to get out of immigration detention centers quickly in the USA will have their DNA tested to know whether they are families or not.

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The Department of Homeland Security(DHS) declared that DNA testing will be started to make sure that the DNA of the detained immigrants will be put into a criminal database. The DNA samples can be collected by the government using new technology in 90 minutes. This program was run for a short term by the government on the border of the US and Mexico to catch people posing as families to escape detention. Its because children have to be released from the detention center in 20 days.

The DNA thus collected will be put in a database. This will prevent the entry of those into the US who are criminals and can't enter the US through legal immigration rules. Any illegal immigrants with a criminal background will be caught as per this effort. However, some are against Trump’s policy of DNA detention because it violates civil liberty. Its also not required because DHS also takes the fingerprints of those who are in immigration detention centers. DNA collection is also a part of criminal investigation and cant be used to scrutinize population. In the words of Vera Eidelman who is a staff lawyer with ACLU “This kind of mass collection also alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation to population surveillance, which is contrary to our basic notions of freedom and autonomy.”

DNA testing was first introduced by President Trump in 2018 when he introduced his zero-tolerance policy. As per this policy, 2000 kids were forced to leave their families behind at the US border. However, at that time also, many companies promised to aid Trump so that it could be identified which kids belonged to whom. DNA testing agencies, MyHeritage and 23andMe wanted to give DNA testing kits so that parents could identify if any kids have been separated from them.

DNA is valuable information, which lets you know how likely is a person prone to getting a certain disease. Insurance companies often use DNA to know which insured people are likely to get a certain disease, so that, they don’t give them insurance policies.

The government can also misuse the genetic information collected by it. The government can use this information to know valuable knowledge about an individual about whether we will be married or not, and in future genetic information can be used for a lot of wrongful purposes.

This time, the genetic information collected about an individual is much larger in scope than what was collected earlier. And unlike the DNA testing pilot which was run earlier, this time all the information will be sent to the FBI. So, this is risky when the FBI can lay hands on your entire genetic profile. However, the Department of Homeland Security can't collect somebody's genetic profile when the person does not have a criminal background. All the immigrants will be waived off from

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