Immigrants, mostly from Central America, travel toward an immigration processing center in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration proposed expanding its DNA testing program to include undocumented immigrants in government custody, per a draft copy of the plan obtained by Buzzfeed News.

What we know: The Department of Justice proposal would allow the extraction of DNA from undocumented immigrants in Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) custody. If implemented, hundreds of thousands of people could be subjected to testing annually, adding an expected 20,000 work hours for CBP officials. The proposal does not prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from participating in the testing, but does require them to do so, either.

What they're saying: A Department of Homeland Security official told Buzzfeed they are "working closely with the Department of Justice on a path forward for DNA collection."

  • The official referenced a pilot program with ICE from earlier in 2019 that issued voluntary DNA tests to immigrants trying to prove familial relationships.

Between the lines: Per Buzzfeed, "Administration officials cite a statute — the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005 — that allows federal agencies to test individuals in their custody, including those who are not American. But previous DOJ regulations exempted agencies under the Department of Homeland Security — including CBP and ICE — from conducting such testing in certain circumstances."

  • But in 2010, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano weakened the exception to only protect people who were not detained on criminal charges and others who were waiting on deportation procedures. The latest proposal would scrap the protections entirely.

Administration officials are arguing the expansion of DNA testing is essential for border protection and assessing individuals entering the country illegally.

Go deeper: TSA launches new facial recognition test in Vegas airport

Go deeper

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.