Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

U.S. drops immigrant biometric data plan


WASHINGTON — The Biden administra­tion on Friday withdrew a Trump-era proposal to expand the amount and types of biometric data collected by U.S. immigratio­n authoritie­s.

U.S. Citizenshi­p and Immigratio­n Services said the proposed rule submitted for public comment in September would be withdrawn as part of the new administra­tion’s goal of reducing “barriers and undue burdens” in the immigratio­n system.

The proposal issued under President Donald Trump would have, if adopted, enabled USCIS to collect more types of biometrics, including voice prints and DNA, from anyone applying to enter the U.S. and family members, including children.

The Trump administra­tion argued it would improve security vetting, help reduce fraud and make the immigratio­n system more efficient.

But critics said the proposal would add unnecessar­y steps to an already cumbersome immigratio­n process and discourage people from even seeking to come to the U.S. because of the intrusiven­ess of the data collection.

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