Trump administration proposes collecting detained migrants’ DNA

Image: A migrant sits with his children to apply for asylum to the United States at the border with Mexico in Tijuana on Jan. 25, 2019.

A migrant sits with his children to apply for asylum to the United States at the border with Mexico in Tijuana on Jan. 25, 2019.Gregory Bull / AP file

The Trump administration on Monday proposed a rule that would allow it to take DNA samples from migrants detained by immigration authorities. The data would be kept in an FBI database.

The proposed rule is due to be officially published Tuesday.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the proposed rule change would “help to save lives and bring criminals to justice” by restoring authority to collect the data that was suspended by the Obama administration.

Civil liberties groups say the move is motivated by xenophobia, and threatens migrants’ rights and privacy.

“It seeks to miscast these individuals, many of whom are seeking a better life or safety, as threats to the country’s security,” said Naureen Shah, the ACLU’s senior advocacy and policy counsel.

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