Editor’s note: When it comes to immigration – illegal or otherwise – the American people have a right to be concerned. Each week, Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard examines a contentious issue related to today’s hottest topic.
Pilot Program for Collecting DNA Samples Begins
Thinking of sneaking into America? Things just got a little more difficult. On Jan. 6, the new pilot program for collecting DNA samples from certain immigrants began. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are tasked with collecting the biometrics from some illegal aliens that come into their custody.
This is a test to see how well such a program will work long term and is limited to the Detroit Sector and the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in Texas. The test phase will be implemented on a 90-day trial basis. A cheek swab will be taken from those who have been detained for various reasons and the data sent to the FBI laboratory. The information will be processed, creating a DNA profile that will be stored in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, otherwise known as CODIS.
The CBP will be able to collect the biometric samples from individuals as young as 14 with an age cap of 79, who have been detained and processed in the Detroit Sector. For those entering at Eagle Pass, the DNA can be collected from immigrants detained or seeking admission into the United States.
According to DHS, the procedures of the program are consistent with the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005. “The regulations apply to any individuals who are arrested, face charges or are convicted (including U.S. citizens and lawfully permanent residents), as well as to non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States, including certain aliens in CBP custody,” stated a CBP press release.
The pilot program is part of a proposed amendment to the Fingerprint Act. Due to resource limitations, the act authorized the secretary of DHS to exempt DNA collection from certain aliens, but the change would close this loophole by removing such exemptions.
Stuck on the Border Wall
Need proof that the border wall is doing its job? Just ask the three Mexican nationals who tried to sneak into the United States but ended up having to be rescued after getting stuck on the wall.
On Jan. 5, border agents near Otay Mesa in California noticed a man and two women stuck on top of the wet and slippery new 30-foot steel wall in the San Diego Sector. Apparently, the trio, abandoned by smugglers, were left to figure a way out of their dangerous predicament.
The immigrants, a 36-year-old male and two females, 20 and 18, were rescued by the San Diego Fire Department, which used its ladder truck to get them safely to the ground. After talking with them, agents confirmed the wall climbers were Mexican nationals in the United States illegally. They were taken to a patrol station for processing.
“These three were very fortunate to not have fallen from the top of the wall which could have resulted in serious injury or death,” San Diego Sector’s Acting Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said. “These dangers are not important considerations to smugglers, who place an emphasis on profits over safety.”
Unlike Humpty Dumpty, these immigrants were rescued intact; however, their fate is yet undetermined. They may just find themselves back where they started, though perhaps less inclined to test America’s stricter illegal immigration controls.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.