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Why forced DNA collection of migrants should concern us all (New York Daily News)

New York Daily News, November 13, 2019

Why forced DNA collection of migrants should concern us all

By Nermeen Arastu, Cristina Velez and Razeen Zaman. All are members of the New York City Bar Association‘s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, which separately submitted comments opposing the proposed rule.

“The Department of Justice has just closed the public comment period on proposed regulations to forcibly collect and indefinitely store the DNA of scores of immigrants detained by the United States. This is a dangerous policy that no American should blithely accept. Under the proposed policy, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers, who have no training or experience with DNA collection, would collect samples, then input an estimated 748,000 new profiles every year into the FBI’s national database. This database, known as the Combined DNA Index System, was born to identify convicted sex offenders and serial violent crimes. The list has problematically been expanded to include those who have only been arrested and never convicted of any crime, a daily reality for many people of color subject to racial profiling and overpolicing.”

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