Let’s talk about biometrics. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, Immigration Lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington DC.
Last Friday, the Biden Administration made a really good decision, they decided to scrap a rule that the Department of Homeland Security was planning to put into effect, a rule that had come in under President Trump and Stephen Miller. And basically, it would have greatly expanded the biometric gathering, the gathering of identity data from anyone applying for an immigration benefit up until the time that they became a U.S. Citizen.
So we all know how much Donald Trump hated immigrants and how they treated immigrants at the Department of Homeland Security during his administration, but this rule that they had promulgated and adopted and was set to go into effect would have required biometrics of anyone applying for any benefit of the people petitioning for a benefit. So in other words, if a U.S. citizen was trying to sponsor their spouse, they too would have to go under biometrics.
And the biometrics themselves were going to be greatly expanded, they were going to do things like scan people’s irises, in their eye, to scan their palms, to do all kinds of things to gather more and more information about people. And of course, that’s objectionable and upsetting in and of its own right, but really, I believe that the main reason they were trying to expand biometrics was two-fold, one to discourage people from applying, and number two, to delay the process even further. Remember, everyone always focused on their efforts to attack “illegal immigration”. Of course, that phrase is loaded and illegal immigration isn’t even a thing, it’s a fiction of the right. You can violate the immigration laws but that doesn’t make you illegal.
But putting that to the side, they really wanted to stop illegal immigration, they wanted to slow down and make it so miserable for people that people would just give up and stop applying. And so they were going to be adopting a very intrusive and all-encompassing biometric scheme that would have not only dissuaded people from applying for a benefit but also would have really slowed down the process.
We’ve already seen biometrics, just regular biometrics, fingerprinting and photographing, which used to take a month to get your notice, now we’ve seen people wait for a year to take their notice. So this was all on purpose and the Biden Administration is finally taking a step in the right direction. They’re going to undo that rule. They’re not going to require the expanded biometrics. They’ve scrapped the rule and so things will continue as normal at DHS.
Of course, this was a solution in search of a problem, it was all just part of the Trump campaign to wage war on immigrants, to make immigrants look outsiders, and it was also an attempt by the police state to expand their powers because you can always tell what’s going to happen to regular U.S. citizens as you pay attention to what’s happening to immigrants. When they try to track down immigrants and photograph them and fingerprint them and palm print them and eye scan them, they’re all doing that with a future goal of doing it to everybody. And if you give up the rights of immigrants, then eventually you’re going to be giving up the rights of citizens.
So we’re glad that Biden is taking this step, we’re glad that the Department of Homeland Security has scrapped that rule, and we think it’s a net positive for immigrants and those who care about them.
If you have a case and you’re wondering about your biometrics, or if you have any other kind of immigration-related question, give us a call (314) 961-8200. If you want to join our Facebook group, it’s called Immigrant Home. We’d love to have you there. We have about 5,000 plus members. We also have our YouTube channel with new videos every single day. And of course, we have our Instagram account at Hacking Immigration Law every Tuesday and Thursday from noon to one central. You should be able to find me in our Facebook group and on our YouTube channel answering as many of your immigration law-related questions as possible. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.