US Plans to Widen DNA Database

Will take samples from illegal immigrants, felony arrestees
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 9:27 PM CDT
US Plans to Widen DNA Database
Immigration advocates are in an uproar, as the US seeks to expand DNA collection to include samples from all illegal immigrants detained by federal authorities, and anyone arrested in a federal crime   ((c) Amy March)

The US plans to significantly widen its law-enforcement database by taking DNA samples from illegal immigrants picked up by federal authorities and from all people arrested for federal offenses, the Washington Post reports. The feds currently collect genetic information only from those convicted of federal crimes. The expanded policy follows the lead of 13 states.

Immigrant rights advocates say the plan paints all immigrants as criminals; civil liberties groups are equally outraged. "Innocent people don't belong in a so-called criminal database," said one ACLU adviser. "We're crossing a line." The plan's proponents cite the current program's success in 65,000 of 65,350 investigations. If passed, roughly 1.2 million people would be added to the database per year. (Read more DNA stories.)

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