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ICE awards new contract for rapid DNA testing at southwest border; expands pilot program

  1. Date Announced

    June 21, 2019

    ICE announces 120-day extension of the rapid DNA testing pilot program and expansion to five additional locations along the southwest border to assess long-term implementation. ICE awards a 10-month contract to Bode Cellmark Forensics Inc., with a total value of $5.2 million, to carry out the expansion.

    The government asserts that it retains authority to conduct Rapid DNA testing from 8 U.S.C. § 1357(b), which allows ICE to “take and consider evidence concerning the privilege of any person to enter, reenter, pass through, or reside in the United States.” However, this statute generally has applied to “evidence” such as inspecting entry documents, not conducting DNA testing. [ID #399]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    June 21, 2019
  3. Subsequent Action

    June 25, 2019

    DHS releases Privacy Impact Statement for the Rapid DNA program to clarify the scope of DNA use, to "outline the privacy risks involved in using Rapid DNA technology," and "to explain how ICE will mitigate any risks pertaining to privacy."

    Privacy Impact Assessment for the Rapid DNA Operational Use
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Border
Agencies Affected: CBP ICE

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