About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

30 B.C. Third World L.J. 239 (2010)
Brave New World: The Use and Potential Misuse of DNA Technology in Immigration Law

handle is hein.journals/bctw30 and id is 243 raw text is: BRAVE NEW WORLD: THE USE AND
POTENTIAL MISUSE OF DNA
TECHNOLOGY IN IMMIGRATION LAW
JANICE D. VILLIERS*
Abstract: DNA technology revolutionized criminal law, family law and
trust and estates practice. It is now revolutionizing immigration law. Cur-
rendy the Department of Homeland Security does not require DNA tests,
but it recommends these tests when primary documentation, such as
marriage licenses, birth certificates and adoption papers are not available
to prove the relationship between the U.S. citizen petitioner and the
beneficiary who is seeking permanent resident status in the United States.
DNA tests are attractive to the government as a result of administrative
convenience and as a means of countering fraud, but adoption of a
wholesale policy of DNA testing poses a host of potential problems. In an
area of law where family reunification is described as the primary goal, an
increase in the use of DNA sometimes results in separating families and
other unintended consequences. By promoting the use of DNA evidence,
the social interests that are paramount in a family relationship could be-
come subservient to genetic interests. The beneficiaries could become
mere genetic entities, whose biological relationship through their genes is
paramount. This promotes the view that shared genes are the principal
means of identifying human relationships and that one should be entitled
to legal benefits solely on this basis. Quality control in the collection, stor-
age and testing of samples, access of individuals to testing facilities, espe-
cially in developing countries, privacy interests and the potential for mis-
use of the results of these tests, particularly in preventing the admission of
aliens on health grounds are among the potential problems identified in
this article. Using examples from disciplines where DNA evidence has
been adopted--criminal, family and estates and trusts law-this article
will present a workable policy for the use of this technology in immigra-
tion law.
*Associate Professor, St. John's University School of Law. J.D., Columbia University
School of Law, 1989; M.A., New York University, 1979; B.A., Pace University, 1975. I thank
my research assistants Katherine Shepherd, Elizabeth Olacio and Gene Lerner for their
invaluable work on this project and my colleagues, Associate Dean Margaret V. Turano and
Professor Elaine M. Chiu for their encouragement, ideas and comments. I am also in-
debted to Millicent Clarke, Esq. for her comments. Last but not least, I would like to thank
my daughter, Janelle McCarthy whose love of the field of genetics inspired this research.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most