US Immigration Wants To Collect DNA Samples, Iris Scans, And Voice Prints From 50% More People

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been published by the Department of Homeland Security authorizing a significant increase in biometric information that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be able to collect.

The government redefines biometric to include behavioral characteristics along with biological characteristic that can be used to identify someone. And it outlines new types of biometrics that they plan to authorize themselves to collect.

DHS wants to add the collection of palm prints, photographs for facial recognition, voice prints, iris images and DNA for tests to determine genetic relationships to its pre-existing biometric practices, which include collecting fingerprints and signatures of immigrants.

While biometric technology was previously used for background checks only, the new rule suggests collection should be required for identity enrollment, verification, and management and the production of secure identity documents in addition.

CBP chemist reads a DNA profile

According to DHS, everyone “requesting a benefit” or even “encountering” the agency is subject to biometrics requirements “unless DHS waives or exempts it.” And they plan to require biometrics for “other functions related to administering and enforcing the immigration and naturalization laws.” This will grow the number of people who have to submit biometric information by more than 50% from 3.9 million to 6.1 million and “the collection rate across all types of forms would increase from 46% to over 70%.”

There’s a 30 day comment period, and the Department will have to consider comments, before promulgating a final rule.

(HT: Boggie)

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  1. Photos and fingerprints are something that have been done for 100 years. Voice prints and iris scans are concerning. We are conservatives because we know big government bureaucracy will always abuse the public and infringe on fundamental freedoms. I rather have the immigration changed to exclude groups that commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime and vote against free speech/religious freedom/personal freedom/private property rights/gun rights than go Uber big brother 1984 on legitimate immigrants from Europe/Australia, Brazil/Argentina/Uruguay/Jordan/Lebanon/Israel/

    This reminds me of 9/11 and the patriot Act. Instead of restricting student visas for certain groups that are most likely to commit attacks, government targets the freedom of legitimate citizens and legitimate tourists through spying, intrusive investigations into personal finance (when selling a home) and the TSA/customs.

  2. @Christian I’d say it’s Orwellian. In Huxley’s future the rulers simply bought off / drugged the populace to gain compliance.

    @Jackson If there is anything that irritates me, it is when our overlords enforce laws by making us law abiding citizens jump through hoops instead of spending their resources chasing the criminals. The war on drugs is replete with examples of this behaviour.

  3. Is the public comment mainly a farce? Aren’t they going to do whatever they want?

    And is it their doublespeak to say “requesting a benefit”? Like being allowed to board a plane or cross a border? Is that a benefit or a nuisance that we put up with?

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