Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Starting Soon

The US is to begin collecting DNA samples from individuals detained at its borders this week, the Verge reports.

In October, the Trump Administration announced that it planned to take such samples from people in federal immigration custody. The Associated Press noted at the time that immigration officials were allowed to collect fingerprints from migrants who crossed the border illegally and add them to federal databases. 

The Verge reports that this new policy is being rolled out in pilot phases by the US Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. CBP is to start by collecting DNA in its Detroit, Michigan, sector and its Eagle Pass Port of Entry in Texas and ICE will begin at one unspecified site, it adds. It notes that DNA samples won't be collected from anyone under the age of 14, over the age of 79, or from individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities.

Eventually, the Verge reports, CBP will also collect samples from US citizens and permanent residents in its custody.

In October, the AP noted that this new effort is distinct from the rapid DNA testing program being implemented by ICE along the US southern border to uncover migrant adults traveling with unrelated children.