Biometric data and U.S. immigration

| Sep 24, 2020 | Immigration |

Big businesses and recent immigrants have been advocating for more open borders while some Americans have been troubled by what they see as fraud connected to immigration. In September, the Trump Administration proposed the collection of DNA from citizens who seek to sponsor their family members as immigrants. Families in New Jersey may want to learn more about this measure.

DNA and biometrics

In 2019, the Department of Homeland Security began to collect DNA and other biometric information from migrants being detained. Information like iris mapping, palm prints and voice prints are unique identifiers. Fingerprints are another famous biometric marker. They can help authorities learn the actual identity of a person, even if the person presents false identity documents.

The logic behind collecting DNA from sponsoring citizens is reportedly related to anxiety about identity theft. The goal is to make sure the parties are actually related in the way they state they are. The Trump Administration is focusing on “chain migration,” which refers to people bringing more family members to the U.S. after they’ve settled and achieved citizenship.

Two sides to the story

Proponents see DNA collection as an important national security issue because they worry that terrorists and criminals could enter the country by assuming a false identity. However, lawyers from the ACLU are alarmed at the level of data collection the Trump Administration and DHS are looking for. The ACLU sees it as an invasion of privacy and a first step toward increased surveillance.

Anyone who is sponsoring or seeking to sponsor a relative may want to contact an immigration law attorney. An experienced professional may provide advice about the ever-changing requirements for immigration to the United States.