ICE officials plan to change fingerprinting policy

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials has proposed that all people claiming custody of migrant children should be fingerprinted

The U.S. immigration enforcement officers aim to fingerprint anyone claiming custody of migrant children illegally entering the country, despite officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) having no plans in changing the actual policy.

As the deputy director at HHS’s office of refugee resettlement Bobbie Gregg explains, the agency’s goal is “to place children with an appropriate sponsor as promptly as [the agency] can safely do so. And so any delay for placing the child with their parent is time that we’re keeping a parent and child separated.”

On the other hand, for safety purposes, as well as for enforcing immigration policy rules, ICE officials want to fingerprint all parents claiming the children via FBI criminal records to make sure they are not out-laws. The proposal is preliminary and needs the White House approval to apply.

Official figures show that during January 2014 and April 2015 31.000 parents, relatives or sponsors claimed children illegally entering U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to move away from violence and poverty.

The relatives claiming custody of children saved them from the deportation procedure. Under current law, the child’s birth certificate or DNA tests are mandatory to prove the relationship between the child and the custodian.