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Immigrants’ DNA Data Collection

The proposed DNA collection rule will provide a basis for collecting DNA from detained immigrants, a senior official from the Ministry of Homeland Security told reporters on October, 2.

The U.S. government plans to regularly collect immigrant DNA data developed by the Department of Justice. The plan came after the Office of the Special Counsel determined that border guards do not take DNA samples from detained immigrant criminals, as required by the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005.

Importantly, the DNA collection, announced on October 2, will allow the Ministry to collect and obtain access to the DNA profiles of all detained immigrants. DNA profiles are stored in the FBI database, originally created to help law enforcement solve violent crimes.

Proponents of DNA data collection say this will help uncover crimes by allowing law enforcement officials to compare immigrant genetic profiles and unidentified DNA detected at the crime scene.

On the other hand, opponents of the idea say that DNA collection efforts will be unfairly targeted at an already vulnerable population. Especially, attitude to all people as potential criminals, according to many, is contrary to the principles of the United States.

However, the cost of collecting DNA from most or all immigrants detained on US borders has not yet been estimated.

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