Migrant DNA: Context, Ethics and Legal Issues

ELSI Friday Forum
Event Description

Join us on Friday, March 12, 2021 at noon EST for the fifth ELSI Friday Forum: Migrant DNA: Context, Ethics and Legal Issues.

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. This is especially true in light of a history of governmental use of border-related issues to introduce, normalize, and expand surveillance technologies and practices. 

Our speakers are Sarah Katsanis, MS of Northwestern University and Vera Eidelman, JD of the American Civil Liberties Union. The session will be moderated by Paul Appelbaum, MD of Columbia University.

To continue the conversation please join fellow audience members for an informal discussion in a Zoom meeting immediately following the forum. The link will be placed in the Zoom Chat during the forum. For those who cannot attend the live event, the forum will be recorded and archived on the ELSIhub Video page.

Closed/open captioning and/or transcripts will be provided for live and recorded events.

Event Details

Speaker Name(s)
Sara Katsanis, MS, Northwestern University
Vera Eidelman, JD, American Civil Liberties Union
Moderated by Paul Appelbaum, MD, Columbia University
Registration Fee
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