Immigrants To Lose DNA, Right to Adequate Counsel


Beginning today, the U.S. government will collect DNA samples from people arrested and detained for suspected immigration violations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Expectedly, the usual suspects are battling it out: An ACLU tech expert is concerned that “people who are merely accused of a crime or a civil violation of law but haven’t been convicted of anything are being subjected to the most invasive sort of testing.” But a Justice Department spokesman calls it “an important crime-fighting and crime-solving tool,” and border-state Republicans such as Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona like it too, though none of them is willing to say out loud what they appear to be thinking: that being an immigrant somehow makes you more likely to be a criminal.

More bad news for newcomers to our great country: if you lose a deportation hearing and feel your lawyer didn’t offer adequate counsel — a basic Constitutional right — don’t bother appealing on that basis: the Attorney General says courts are not bound to respect such appeals.