Border Patrol Rep Claims Collecting DNA From Undocumented Immigrants Will Help Solve Crimes, No Risk of Profiling

A union representative for Customs and Border Patrol officers defended a proposed policy that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to collect DNA samples from people held at immigration detention facilities.

Speaking to Fox & Friends host Griff Jenkins on Saturday morning, Brandon Judd, president of the Border Patrol Union, characterized the new policy—and President Donald Trump—as "all about the rule of law."

"When we collect the DNA, we know that there's a lot of people that come and go into the United States. And there are thousands of crimes that are committed that are unsolved on a regular—on a yearly basis. DNA will help us solve those crimes because there's always residue from DNA that are left at every single crime scene," Judd claimed.

By Judd's reasoning, those who flout the law by entering or remaining in the United States unlawfully are likely to behave criminally during their stay, an idea prevalent among those who want to reduce immigration to the United States—despite data showing that immigrants of all types are much less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that it is working on new regulations that would collect DNA data from the 40,000 people currently in federal immigration detention to be included in the FBI's criminal DNA database. The new regulation will effectively sidestep a 2005 immigration detainee exemption that Congress instated in DNA collection policies to protect immigrants, according to The New York Times.

The American Civil Liberties Union was quick to denounce the new Justice Department policy. In a statement issued Wednesday, ACLU staff attorney Vera Eidelman wrote, "This kind of mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation to population surveillance, which is contrary to our basic notions of freedom and autonomy." Eidelman also pointed out that, "This means the administration's racist immigration policies will also implicate the rights of family members in other countries and family members here, including American citizens."

Judd addressed the ACLU's claims at the end of his interview saying, "In 22 years in law enforcement, I have never seen a situation in which DNA has caused unwarranted profiling. In fact that's where the ACLU is going to fail in this court challenge. They will be filing a court challenge, of course. What they're going to fail is they're not going to be able to show a judge cause—reasonable likelihood that DNA will in fact be used to used to profile persons. It just, it's not reality."

The ACLU did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.

Brandon Judd
US President Donald Trump listens to Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, speak about border security in the briefing room at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 3, 2019. Judd defended a proposed policy to collect DNA samples from detained migrants in a Fox News interview Saturday. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP