US government plans to collect DNA from asylum seekers

Immigration rights advocates push back on the Trump administration's plan to collect DNA samples and create a massive FBI database.
4:13 | 10/22/19

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Transcript for US government plans to collect DNA from asylum seekers
We turn next to a controversial new immigration policy the trump administration. Is rolling out this week at the Justice Department the agency says all unauthorized immigrants apprehended at the southern border including knows Seeking Asylum. Well now need to provide samples of their DNA. Quinn owner immigration reporter is here along with marine shot she is that with these show you a senior policy. Advocate in policy council thank you for being here Noory and let's sort you Quinn because. Obvious idea of collecting DNA samples. From immigrants coming across is had scratch or for a lot of people seem very complicated and controversial. Right of course and it's something that has civil liberties advocates very concerned because obviously DNA being such a person on identifiable thing. It could implicate you know US citizens who might have relationships with people trying to cross the border. This is something the term administration has been trying for some time they rolled out a pilot program to test people. What they call frat fraught with fraudulent family units in that are booked into immigrant detention earlier this year. Again we still don't know what to this whole look like at the actual ports of entry Homeland Security is still figuring out how they're gonna start. Collecting the DNA and feeding that into a criminal database but we're expecting a good morning. Yeah ignoring U we're talking about this the ACLU obviously opposes this policy for a number reasons were in get into that it. It's very. Intrusive. To collect DNA from someone it drew blood drawn swab we don't know how they're gonna do it here but. I'm that would require a degree of interest city. It's the most intimate kind of information then a person can give over it's their genetic information it tells you about. What kind of illnesses their pre disposed to it can even help you Trace where there other family members are in the United States. And we're talking about a policy the trump administration wants to pursue that is really sweeping its extraordinary means. Hundreds of thousands of people every year getting their DNA forcibly taken. And then where it lives and how it is used as. Not anybody's yeah. They haven't spelled it out Quinn they say the Justice Department says in a pot and a statement that this policy is intended to be to beef up their database to prevent. Criminals from coming and and to cross reference. Some of these migrants of crime. It's right exactly this will go into the FBI national database and seized by police departments across the country. That's the idea behind this so if when people are booked into and you know regular jails local jails sometimes. What their information is taken and run against this database to see you pass criminal records. I guess the sounds expensive. It doesn't own costly and and not exactly sure it's not exactly clear with the resource strain has been put on the Department of Homeland Security over the past years. How they're gonna find the money to roll this whole thing Al. Like a civil it would were expecting some details on on exactly what's gonna happen at ports of entry because keep in mind there are also people. Who were not authorized across that are attempting to go through the legal process at US ports. It Noory and I understand ACLU is gonna wait to see some of the fine print before you organization decides whether to challenge this in court like so many of other policies. That ACLU is challenging. Before we go I want to get you to sort of answer critics to this that we've seen on social today sort of wondering what we already collect fingerprints we take pictures. Of migrants who cross asylum seekers. Other entrance. Perhaps at an airport coming over from overseas why not what's so wrong about collecting DNA is just one an added layer of inform. Your fingerprints are going to be used to say you might actually be predisposed to an illness and then you're gonna need insurance and you're gonna need public benefits so we don't want to let you enter. Mean we've even got people saying that we can use DNA they're claiming that they can use it's against your sexual orientation. This is extremely dangerous for the government re saying hey we can just take us from people even if they're not under criminal investigation. Just because they want to keep us all under surveillance they want to dehumanize the immigrant population but we're also talking up this potentially eventually spreading to everybody else in. As certainly concerning a force asylum seekers people who are sensibly trying to get away from some other abuses in their home countries. Certainly concerning to a lot of people ignoring sharp thank you so much quite knowing thank you for coming on has always.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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