The Trump administration keeps finding new ways to heap horrors onto undocumented people in its custody. The administration is reportedly considering letting Customs and Border Protection workers run DNA tests of detained undocumented people, according to a draft of the policy obtained by BuzzFeed News on Thursday.
If implemented, officials estimated that CBP workers would need “more than 20,000 additional work hours” in the policy’s first year, BuzzFeed’s Hamed Aleaziz reported. The rule may even allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement workers to perform similar tests on persons in the agency’s custody.
When asked for comment, an Department of Homeland Security official (the cabinet which houses CBP) told BuzzFeed News: “DHS is working closely with the Department of Justice on a path forward for DNA collection.”
This isn’t the first time DHS has tried to DNA test detained persons. In May 2019, there was a pilot program to DNA test families detained at the border. It was reported to be active “for two to three days” at two different southern border facilities, CNN reported.
In that (what appears to be) test run in May, that DNA information was not going to be “stored or shared,” ICE acting Deputy Director Derek Benner told CNN in May. “This is not screenings, this is not just random application of this, this is a pilot designed to assess the usefulness of this technology in an investigative process,” Benner told CNN.