Immigrant families in Texas and other parts of the country may have heard about a plan by the Trump Administration to expand the collection of DNA and other data as part of the vetting process for immigrants. This expansion includes a provision that would make it lawful to collect DNA from American citizens who sponsor visa applicants.
The document detailing the provision was made available by the Department of Homeland Security. The document states that petitioners, sponsors, applicants and all others associated with a request for immigration benefits must avail themselves to biometrics collection. No exceptions are made due to the age of the person involved with the request. The document defined biometrics to include palm prints, images of the iris and voice prints.
DHS reportedly applauds the proposal and says it will increase the agency’s access to information. The agency says this information will improve its ability to verify relationships between applicants and other people involved with the process.
The proposal comes roughly a year after the Trump Administration voiced its desires to collect DNA samples from foreign nationals detained at the southern border of the United States. Trump’s position is that the genetic information would help the agency identify fraud as well as provide a solution for criminal cases involving immigrants that have gone cold.
Members of the American Civil Liberties Union pushed back immediately at the proposal. The deputy director of the union said that the expansion would represent a level of human data collection that has never existed before.
American immigration policy is a complex maze of regulations that can present problems to immigrants who try to navigate the process on their own. An attorney may be able to help an immigrant who has questions regarding the immigration process or requires attention for his or her status.