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Biden To Throw Out Trump-Era Plan Collecting DNA, Eye Scans, and Voice Prints from Immigrants

May 7, 2021

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The Biden administration on Friday did away with a proposed Trump-era rule that would have required U.S. immigrants to submit additional biometrics data, such as DNA samples, eye scans, photos for facial recognition, and voice prints at any point until they became U.S. citizens.

The new policy, which was proposed in September, would also have removed the age limit of biometrics requirements, allowing government officials to request biometrics from children under the age of 14.

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The current biometrics requirement applies to immigrant applicants over the age of 14, and is limited to submitting fingerprints, a signature, and a picture.

The Trump administration said that the rule, which never took effect, was a method to ensure “continuous vetting” and to keep up with “technological developments” and would have applied to immigrants seeking green cards, work permits and additional immigration benefits throughout their immigration journey in the United States until they obtained citizenship.

The rule also aimed to extend the biometrics requirement to everyone associated with the immigration benefit, including U.S. citizen sponsors.

Immigration advocates criticized the proposal, calling it an “unprecedented” move to collect personal information.

The Biden administration has already done away with some of Trump’s most prominent immigration policies, including the 2019 Public Charge Rule, reverting back to the 2008 citizenship test, and removing the word “alien” from official communications.

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