Third of Migrants Faked Family Relationships with Children, DNA Testing Shows
Rapid DNA testing at US border by ICE reveals fake families are claiming asylum
Around 30 percent of migrants tested at the US-Mexico border was found to be faking family relationships with children they were traveling with, according to rapid DNA testing by ICE.
A pilot of new rapid DNA testing at the US Southern Border, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), discovered that almost a third of the adults tested were not biologically related to the children in their custody.
The pilot was conducted by ICE for a few days earlier this month in El Paso and McAllen, Texas.
30 percent of those tested were not related to the children they claimed were their own, an official told the Washington Examiner.
The official said the "families" were not simply cases of step-fathers or adoptive parents, rather migrants are faking family status to claim asylum in the United States.
"Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members," the official said.
According to the Daily Mail, it is unclear whether every family unit was tested during the pilot or only those who raised some sort of red flag.
An ICE spokesman did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The official said that some migrants did refuse the test and admit that they were not related to the children they were with when they learned their claim would be subjected to DNA proof.
ICE said the Department of Homeland Security would look at the results of the pilot to determine whether to roll out rapid DNA tests more broadly.
After President Donald Trump's administration backpedaled on "family separation" in the face of enormous backlash last summer, the number of family units arriving at the southern border has skyrocketed.
Current U.S. law and policy means that Central Americans who cross the border illegally with children can claim asylum and avoid any lengthy detention in most cases.
US Border Patrol says it has apprehended 535,000 for crossing the border illegally so far this year, with "no sign of it getting better."
Due to massive strain on the processing system, 40,000 of those have been released into communities, the agency said.
On Saturday, the Trump administration told lawmakers that it probably will cost more to care for migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico than the $2.9 billion in emergency money requested just two weeks ago.
In a White House letter, acting budget chief Russell Vought said: "the situation has continued to deteriorate and is exceeding previous high-end estimates."
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a separate letter that needs for the unaccompanied children account "could grow further and be closer to the worst-case scenario HHS had proposed be the basis for the supplemental request, which was $1.4 billion higher."