Mandatory DNA collection at the border?

This is probably just another policy change designed to make the open borders crowd set their hair on fire and trigger yet another round of inevitable lawsuits, but it might have some merit. A new policy to be announced this week by the Trump administration would allow immigration enforcement officials to collect the DNA of illegal aliens apprehended at the border and add it to the FBI’s criminal database. Of course, none of this becomes official until the White House gets around to announcing it. (Associated Press)

The Trump administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained by immigration officials and will add the information to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals, a Justice Department official said.

The Justice Department will publish an amended regulation Monday that would mandate DNA collection for almost all migrants who cross between official entry points and are held even temporarily, according to the official. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the regulation had not yet been published.

As usual, the AP leads off their story with a disingenuous headline, claiming that the policy would target “asylum seekers.” In reality, it would only apply to those crossing the border illegally, not those seeking entrance at designated crossings. While it’s true that many of those apprehended after jumping the border have been trained to immediately request asylum, that’s not the same as people who apply from their home country or at a CBPP crossing checkpoint.

Is this going to turn out to be legal? I have no idea, but it does offer a number of benefits if we can do it. The first and probably most important would be the ability to more quickly look into “family units” picked up at the border and determine whether or not the adults in question are actually the parents or relatives of the children with them. This could help identify child traffickers and help to rescue the children from whatever fate awaited them in America.

Also, many illegal immigrants who are released while awaiting a court date simply disappear into the interior, with some going on to commit other crimes. If they’re already in the FBI database they can more quickly and easily be identified, detained and returned to their home countries. In addition to that, repeat offenders are known to use a variety of aliases and fake ID documents. If DNA can be used to uncover the deception, we won’t have as many people being deported three, five, ten or more times before finally committing a truly serious crime. (We’ve seen that story play out all too often, sadly.)

Of course, don’t expect this to start any time soon. Now that the word has leaked out, the ACLU or some other immigrants rights group no doubt already have their lawyers preparing a legal challenge and a demand for an injunction somewhere in the Ninth Circuit. So this idea will obviously be tied up in court for months or even years.

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