All the federal agencies that are dealing with undocumented people seem to be taking desperate measures. They have said there are too many undocumented people crossing the border and are unsure how to keep track of everyone. We’ve already seen that the U.S Border Patrol cannot correctly house asylum seeking people. We know that immigration officials did not keep track of families when they were separated at the border. So are these desperate measures legal, no they are not. Now the U.S Border Patrol is going against another standard policy and creating their own.
CNN is reporting that the U.S Border Patrol has started to fingerprint some undocumented children. The standard policy was not to fingerprint children 14 and younger because as an official with the U.S Border Patrol said, a fingerprint is not produced until after the age of 14. So why would they get fingerprints if children’s prints are still developing? They said it is their way to prohibit human trafficking.
“Right now, we are still faced with overwhelming numbers. Every tool that we can get is going to be helpful for us,” an official told CNN. “Ultimately, it’s the changes in law” [that will have a lasting impact], “but this will help us counter the fraud,” CNN reports.
Border Patrol begins fingerprinting children under 14
From a technical perspective, the reason CBP previously did not fingerprint children until they turned 14 is "because your fingerprint doesn't solidify until that time"https://t.co/9TAi2I2Mef
— kersti (@FeistyOldHag) April 24, 2019
The border patrol has said that if they suspect a child is with someone other than a parent, they will fingerprint them. They also claim that fingerprinting is still only being used on a case-by-case basis and occurring mainly in the border town of Yuma and the Rio Grande Valley area.
It may seem as if they’re doing something good by trying to prevent these kids from being thrown into a world of human trafficking; however, is this kind of data gathering even illegal?
Furthermore, what will the border patrol do with all of this data? Once they have a child fingerprinted, that data will remain in their system forever. They will never be able to get rid of the stigma of entering the country illegally, and for a child to have that on their shoulders is terrible and traumatic. Whatever happens to that child, whether he finds a good home, grows up to be a doctor, the system will always have a track of their past, and that is extremely unfair. We know that under the Trump Administration they’d use that information against them. The American Civil Liberties has yet to comment on this situation, but something tells me that this news won’t go over well with them.