U.S. Border Patrol begins collection of DNA samples

A Customs and Border Protection vehicle is shown near the U.S.-Mexico border in a file photo. (Photo by Jinitzail Hernández/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security is going to start collecting DNA samples on individuals in Customs and Border Protection  (CBP) custody.

It is what is described as a "limited, small-scale" pilot program to assess the impact of a proposal to require DNA collection from people in custody.

The U.S. Border Patrol will implement the 90-day pilot program in the Detroit Sector and the Office of Field Operations will implement the pilot program at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in southwestern Texas

CBP will collect DNA samples from "certain individuals" between the ages of 14-79 who are apprehended and processed within the Detroit Sector.

In Texas, they will be individuals who are stopped for further detention or proceedings.


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The test is to assess the impact of a Trump administration proposal to require the collection of DNA samples to submit them to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.

The regulations apply to any individuals who are arrested, face charges or are convicted, including U.S. citizens.

The collection is non-invasive and generally involves a cheek swab to collect a saliva sample.

Right now, only fingerprints are taken and sent to federal databases.