DHS Biometrics Expansion Rule
Take Action to Oppose the Administration's Proposal
On Sept. 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, and USCIS announced the upcoming publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or NPRM, that proposes to drastically expand the authorities and methods by which DHS component agencies may collect personal and private data for the purposes of implementing immigration law and policies.
On Sept. 11, DHS officially published the NPRM in the Federal Register, providing the public with only 30 days to comment. Comments are due by Oct. 13, 2020.
Please note this campaign will close at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.
In summary, the NPRM proposes sweeping changes to the amount of private information DHS and its component agencies collect, including but not limited to:
- Expanding the collection of biometrics to require any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary or individual filing or associated with an immigration benefit or request - over six million people annually - to appear for biometrics collection without regard to age, including U.S. citizens;
- Increasing the biometric modalities that it uses to collect biometrics information for benefits adjudication and law enforcement purposes to include palm prints, facial and iris image, and voice prints and DNA, as well as permit the indefinite retention of biometrics and allow the agency to share biometrics with law enforcement;
- Authorizing DHS to require, request, or accept the submission of DNA or DNA test results, which include a partial DNA profile, to verify the existence of a claimed genetic relationship for benefits adjudication and law enforcement purposes (including collecting DNA samples from families in government custody);
- Removing the age restrictions for biometrics collection in the context of Notice to Appear issuance for the same reasons (i.e., identity verification,criminal history background checks, etc.).
- Modifying how VAWA self-petitioners and applicants for T nonimmigrant status demonstrate good moral character, as well as remove the presumption of good moral character for children under the age of 14.