In California, people understand that immigrating to the United States is a goal for many around the world. It’s a difficult process with many hurdles that must be cleared. In 2019, the Trump Administration introduced new requirements for DNA collection from potential immigrants, and in 2020, the administration floated the idea of expanding that requirement.
In addition to collecting genetic information from the immigrants themselves, the idea is that the Department of Homeland Security would also require DNA swabs from the citizens sponsoring them. This fits in with the Trump Administration’s anxiety about so-called chain migration. This refers, essentially, to family immigration, meaning that people who have become established in the United States use their status to bring relatives over, too.
With advances in technology, the government has many options to collect information from newcomers. In addition to DNA, this can include biometric markers. This refers to measurable characteristics that are unique to an individual. Fingerprints are probably the best-known biometric marker. Voice prints, iris maps and palm prints are other examples.
Understanding the why
In some developing countries, records are not always reliable and can even be hand-written. That’s reportedly one reason DHS and the Trump Administration are eager to transition to biometrics and DNA. One of the goals is to ensure that U.S. residents can only use family sponsorship to bring actual relatives to the country. Government officials claim to be very concerned about fraud in the system.
Individuals awaiting a decision on their immigration status may be confused by these new requirements. In this situation, it may be helpful to contact an experienced immigration lawyer. With their knowledge of the ever-changing requirements, lawyers may help guide people through this increasingly complex process.