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DHS Plans To Dramatically Expand Immigrant Biometrics Programs | Immigration Lawyer Mario Godoy | Godoy Law Office

DHS Plans To Dramatically Expand Immigrant Biometrics Programs

On September 1, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to expand immigrant biometrics collection and programs and to collect DNA to verify family relationships and identify “fraudulent family units” during the immigration process. The proposed rule will allow DHS to require biometrics for any U.S. immigration application.

Current DHS regulations allow biometrics requirements only for applications involving background checks of individuals aged 14 and over. USCIS officers typically require fingerprints, a signature, and a picture from foreign national adults and anyone over aged 14 who is applying for immigration benefits such as temporary visas, green cards, and citizenship.

When the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, expected to be very soon, members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on it before it goes into effect.

Technology In Immigration Eligibility

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology to determine immigration eligibility and rights has greatly expanded in recent years to include or plan to include:

• Collect DNA to confirm genetic relationships

• Collect DNA to check criminal backgrounds

• Use of social media, drivers license and other digital photos for facial recognition technology of undocumented immigrants

• Iris scans and recognition devices used on detainees at the U.S. southern border

• Voice technology to identify the country of origin of undocumented immigrants

• Palm prints for local, state and national criminal databases

Beginning in April 2020, immigration officers began collecting DNA from detained immigrants in detention facilities and entering their results into the U.S. national criminal database.

Chicago immigration attorney Mario Godoy joins Civil liberties and immigrant rights groups who have criticized the proposal, and says DHS’ decision to collect DNA from immigration applicants is a serious civil rights and privacy violation:

“The government is moving to take private, sensitive information from people who have not committed a crime. This information can be misused by the government and is counter to our American values of privacy and freedom.”

Learn More:

DHS to Collect DNA from Detained Immigrants

Migrant DNA Collection Rule Goes Into Effect April 8

ACLU Sues to Protect Rights of Illinois Undocumented Immigrants


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