Wheeee…….. down the slippery slope we go!
The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities, a vast expansion of DNA gathering that will include hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, by far the largest group affected.
The new forensic DNA sampling was authorized by Congress in a little-noticed amendment to a January 2006 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides protections and assistance for victims of sexual crimes. The amendment permits DNA collecting from anyone under criminal arrest by federal authorities, and also from illegal immigrants detained by federal agents.
The goal, justice officials said, is to make the practice of DNA sampling as routine as fingerprinting for anyone detained by federal agents, including illegal immigrants. Until now, federal authorities have taken DNA samples only from convicted felons.
Taking a DNA sample at such an early point of contact with the system implies movement in a direction for which we may not be ready.
Nobody objects these days to having their fingerprints taken. In fact, we’ve long-since passed the “arrest” threshold for recording them. Polimom, for instance, has never been detained by federal authorities, but my fingerprints are in the FBI’s database, just like anybody else who served in the military.
Fingerprints are merely a part of our identification process. But DNA isn’t a fingerprint, is it?
Prior to now, it’s been thought of as a tool for definitively placing someone at a crime, or for exoneration. So why would the government be collecting DNA so widely? Is the technology advanced so far that we can, in fact, add it as a standard datapoint in the personal identification process?
If it isn’t, or if we’re not prepared — all of us — to add our DNA to the database, then collecting samples from people still considered “innocent” under our Constitution requires a bit more thought.
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Added: This has to be the worst reason I’ve ever seen to support something:
You know this is a good thing to do not just because it’s common sense but because all the right people are hysterical.
There are reasons to assemble a DNA database — but that ain’t one of them.
h/t – memeorandum.