Customs and Border Protection will start a pilot program this week where they'll collect DNA samples from detainees and share the information with the FBI. CBP will begin collecting the samples at the Eagle Pass port of entry in Texas and the port of entry near Detroit.
"During the 90-day pilot program, CBP will collect DNA samples from certain individuals held at both locations," read a memo from the Department of Homeland Security. "For the U.S. Border Patrol, this will include individuals between the ages of 14-79 who are apprehended and processed within the Detroit Sector. For the Office of Field Operations [in southern Texas], this will include individuals who present at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry for consideration of admissibility and are subject to further detention or proceedings."
CBP ran similar DNA collection pilot programs last summer during the border crisis to detect fraud -- illegal border crossers falsely claiming that they were family units. This pilot program appears to be more geared towards identifying criminals crossing the border both legally and illegally.
"To support this effort, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Laboratory (“FBI Laboratory”) will provide Buccal Collection Kits to both CBP and ICE," the DHS memo said. "CBP and ICE will use these kits collect the DNA via buccal cheek swab and will send the DNA samples to the FBI, which in turn will process them and store the resulting DNA profile in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)."
DHS said the DNA collection will be consistent with the DNA Fingerprint Act of 2005.
Updated: Thu, Jan 23rd 2020 @ 12:00pm EST