The Trump administration wants to expand its DNA testing program to include detained, undocumented immigrants, according to a draft policy viewed by BuzzFeed News.
If implemented, hundreds of thousands of immigrants could be tested by Customs and Border Patrol agents.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Department of Homeland Security official said, "DHS is working closely with the Department of Justice on a path forward for DNA collection."
The person also noted Immigrations and Customs Enforcement piloted a program near the U.S.-Mexico border where they took voluntary tests of individuals to identify fraudulent families.
"ICE has identified dozens of cases in which children had no familial relation to the adults accompanying them. In the first operation — Operation Double Helix 1.0 — 16 out of 84 family units were identified as fraudulent based on negative DNA results. And in the second — Operation Double Helix 2.0 — 79 of 522 family units were identified as fraudulent based on negative DNA results, to date," the official said.
Former immigration officials told BuzzFeed that collecting DNA material would likely be a waste of time for agents and drain CBP's resources.
"In many ways, it's unnecessary from a law enforcement perspective," said John Sandweg, a former senior Obama administration immigration official. "I don't understand what you're going to get out of it. The idea that some guy crossing the border committed a crime returned and came back all undetected is very remote."
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