Story at a glance:

  • Former President Trump proposed a rule that would have required immigrants to submit biometric information with many applications.
  • Biden has canceled the rule.
  • “They’re using what is overly general language in the law to justify a massive, unprecedented expansion to collect really personal information that they appear to plan to keep and use in perpetuity,” said a critic.

The Biden administration is undoing a proposal by former President Trump that would require immigrants to submit biometrics in their applications for benefits like green cards or work permits.

Personal information like eyes scans, voiceprints, DNA and photographs for facial recognition were once considered for collection to process immigrants until President Biden canceled it, according to BuzzFeed News.


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The proposal was first introduced in September and states the Department of Homeland Security will collect biometrics from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Immigrants who applied for applications, petitions and sponsorships would have to submit the additional documentation.

Ur Jaddou, the Director of DHS Watch and nominated by Biden to lead USCIS, thought the biometric collection was unnecessary, according to BuzzFeed News last year.

“It is stunning,” she said. “They’re using what is overly general language in the law to justify a massive, unprecedented expansion to collect really personal information that they appear to plan to keep and use in perpetuity. What is the reason for this? What is the problem they are trying to solve?”


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Published on May 08, 2021