The Trump administration is moving to start testing the DNA of people detained by U.S. immigration officers, according to reports of call on Wednesday between senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and reporters.
Justice Department officials are reportedly developing a new rule that would allow immigration officers to begin collecting the private genetic information of those being held in the more than 200 prison-like facilities spread across the U.S.
The New York Times reported that Homeland Security officials said the testing is part of a plan to root out “fraudulent family units.” Children and people applying for asylum at legal ports of entry may be tested under the proposed rule, which is likely to elicit strong concerns from privacy and immigration advocates in coming days.
The officials also said the DNA of U.S. citizens mistakenly booked in the facilities could be collected, according to the Times.
DHS did not respond to a request for comment.