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Report: Trump Administrations Wants to Collect DNA From Asylum Seekers, Add to FBI Database Used By Law Enforcement


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The Trump administration wants to start collecting DNA samples from those seeking asylum in the United States.

Why does that matter? The samples would be part of an FBI database used by law enforcement agencies. Currently, only migrants prosecuted in federal court for criminal offenses are required to submit DNA. Under the new proposition, DNA from any migrant — even a person detained temporarily — would be collected.

The Associated Press reports that the regulation is set to be published Monday. If and when that happens, the Department of Justice is expected to enforce a pilot program following a 20-day comment period.

The exceptions to the program are children age 14 and under as well as legal permanent residents.

Trump administration said the measure would help authorities prosecute crimes by immigrants. However, according to a report from The Hill, multiple studies have found that immigrants, both undocumented and not, are less likely than U.S. citizens to commit crimes.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen told The Hill that the proposed changes would "help to save lives and bring criminals to justice," calling it a "lawful exercise."

But critics — including the San Antonio-based immigration legal services non-profit RAICES — disagree, saying the plan is an overreach by the administration. 

"This is a solution looking for a problem," Kristian Ramos, director of communications for immigrant advocacy group Define American, told The Hill. "This is another expensive, silly overreach by an administration that is out of touch with reality."

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