Aug 29, 2019

Trump admin proposes DNA testing on detained, undocumented immigrants

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

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Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: A man in Buffalo, New York bled out of one ear and lay motionless on the ground after police pushed him backward at a protest. He was later taken to the hospital and appeared to be alert, per a local reporter on the scene. Officers arrested five people during the protests in Niagara Square, a Buffalo Police Department statement noted.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

4 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.