Trump Administration Seeks Sweeping DNA Collection of Immigrants, U.S. Sponsors

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WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The Trump administration on Friday formally proposed a sweeping expansion of its collection of DNA and other biometric data of immigrants, to go beyond detained migrants in order to include U.S. citizen sponsors and others.

Its proposal also vastly expands the biological information that the Department of Homeland Security collects beyond genetic material to include eye scans, voice prints, and palm prints, the department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a notice published in the Federal Register.

The plan is the latest move by President Donald Trump, who won office in part with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, to remake the nation’s immigration system and make good on his campaign promises as he seeks re-election in November.

His administration last year called for the collection of DNA of migrants who are detained by U.S. authorities, arguing it was allowed under a 2005 law and could help detect fraud and solve cold cases.

Friday’s proposal, first announced Sept. 1, would vastly expand such collections that DHS said would help prove family relationships, verify identities, and check criminal histories. It also moves to include children, among other changes.

Critics have said it raises serious privacy concerns.

The American Civil Liberties Union last week blasted the move, saying it would hinder legal immigration and raised questions about data storage and government surveillance.

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