Immigrant DNA Testing: Easier Said Than Done


Seven months after the federal government approved a controversial plan to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants, the program has yet to launch, reports As of mid-June, the FBI had given federal agencies more than 55,000 kits to collect DNA from people arrested or detained. The FBI lab had received 697 DNA samples in return, but all of them were from people arrested in criminal cases, not detained immigrants.

A spokesman for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency isn't currently collecting DNA from detained immigrants. Two ICE officials said they weren't even aware of the program. Under the program, some 1.2 million DNA samples would be sent each year to the FBI's already overburdened crime lab, when scientists will then enter the samples into the national DNA database.

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