Past Event

Migrant DNA: Context, Ethics and Legal Issues

March 12, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Event Description

This Friday Forum will consider the ethical, social, and legal implications of the diverse applications of DNA technologies that impact migrants entering or resident in the United States. When migrating family members go missing or a body is found along a migration route, familial DNA testing may be used for identification. The Department of Homeland Security also uses rapid DNA testing to verify biological relationships between parents and children in immigration custody, with the expressed goal of detecting child trafficking and immigration fraud. And the government now collects DNA from all people in immigration detention for inclusion in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, to process and identify people, calculate risks for facility staff and others in detention, inform decisions concerning continued detention or release, and solve past crimes. Although each of these uses of DNA presents its own issues related to consent, privacy, family integrity, and control over personal data, they share common issues regarding government collection of sensitive personal information. 

Event Speaker

Please visit the event webpage for speaker information.

Event Information: 

Free and open to the public; registration required. For more information, please visit the event webpage

Hosted by the Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis at Columbia University as part of the ELSI Friday Forum series.