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This article was originally published on September 10, 2020.

Last Friday, the administration proposed sweeping regulations that would dramatically expand biometric submission requirements for immigration applications—giving the government maximal information about immigrants and their family members. Under these regulations, any individual associated with an immigration application, including the applicant, U.S. citizen and permanent resident sponsors, and beneficiary spouses and children, would be required to submit biometric data to the government. It also broadens the definition of biometrics to be more invasive, including voice prints, eye images, and DNA collection. The proposed regulations would further transform our country into a surveillance state—one that specifically targets immigrant communities.

“If implemented, the results would include increased entanglement between federal immigration and local law enforcement, which is known to erode immigrant communities’ trust of police,” noted Irena Sullivan, Tahirih Senior Immigration Policy Counsel. “In addition, abusers are notorious for reporting victims to police for crimes they did not commit, as a form of manipulation and punishment. These false reports will increasingly show up in survivors’ background checks under the regulation, leading to more arbitrary and unjust denials of their requests for humanitarian relief.”

Irena Sullivan is available for comment on this topic. Please contact [email protected] to arrange an interview.