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DOJ eliminates DHS discretion to exempt certain detained noncitizens from DNA-sample collection

  1. Original Date Announced

    March 9, 2020

    The Department of Justice issues a rule to eliminate 28 C.F.R. § 28.12(b)(4), a provision that allowed the Secretary of Homeland Security to exempt certain noncitizens from DNA-sample collection when such collection "is not feasible because of operational exigencies or resource limitations." This change makes DNA-sample collection possible, without exception, from "all non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States."

    [ID #238]

    DOJ Final Rule: DNA-Sample Collection From Immigration Detainees
  2. Effective Date

    April 8, 2020

Current Status

Fully in Effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Rule
Subject Matter: Border Interior Detention
Agencies Affected: ICE DOJ CBP

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • December 10, 2008

    Previously, under 28 C.F.R. § 28.12(b)(4), the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, could determine that the collection of DNA samples from certain noncitizens was not feasible because of operational exigencies or resource limitations.

    Collection of DNA Samples
  • January 6, 2020

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection will initiate a limited, small-scale pilot program to assess the operational impact of proposed regulatory changes that would require the collection of DNA samples from certain individuals in CBP custody.

    The pilot program will be limited to the following locations:                                                                                                                                                                

    • The U.S. Border Patrol will implement the pilot program in the Detroit Sector.
    • The Office of Field Operations will implement the pilot program at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in southwestern Texas. 
    CBP to Assess Collection of DNA Samples


  • The US Government Can Now Collect DNA From Thousands of People Who Have Never Committed a Crime

    Proposed rule of DOJ mandates the collection of DNA from all immigrants in government custody, regardless of whether they have committed a crime.

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  • GAO May 2023 Report on CBP DNA Collections

    In this 2023 report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommends that the CBP Office of Field Operations and U.S. Border Patrol each develop and implement mechanisms to systematically collect data on the reasons officers and agents are not collecting DNA from individuals arrested on federal criminal charges or certain noncitizens detained for immigration violations. The report also lists the amount of samples collected and diagrams the process of collection.

    Go to article

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