Canada Is Using DNA Ancestry Websites To Assist In Deporting People


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The Canada Border Services Agency has been assembling their DNA and utilizing ancestry websites to locate and contact their distant relatives and establish their nationality, in another example of the exceptional lengths Canadian immigration officials go to deport migrants.

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“I think it is a matter of public interest that border service agencies like the CBSA are able to obtain access to DNA results from sites like Familytreedna.com and Ancestry.com,” said Subodh Bharati, an attorney who is representing a man who says he’s Liberian, but who the government is now attempting to prove is actually Nigerian.

“There are clear privacy concerns. How is the CBSA able to access this information and what measures are being put in place to ensure this information remains confidential?”

Bharati too said he is aware of at least two persons who used Familytreedna.com, one in the UK, who have been contacted by the CBSA seeking to deport someone from Canada.

“Individuals using these sites to look at their family tree should be aware that their confidential information is being made available to the government and that border agents may contact them to help facilitate the deportation of migrants,” said Bharati.

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Photo by: Imgflip

CBSA spokesperson, Jayden Robertson, confirmed that CBSA does use DNA testing “as part of a suite of investigative techniques in an effort to confirm an individual’s identity.”

“DNA testing is a measure that is used when other avenues have been exhausted,” said Robertson.

“The CBSA does not publically discuss the mechanics of its investigative techniques in a public forum, as doing so would render them ineffective,” Robertson explained. “The CBSA works closely with its domestic and international law enforcement partners to enforce its mandate.”

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Aaron Granger

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