Trump Admin Considers DNA Testing Every Illegal Alien to Fight Child Trafficking
Move aims to crack down on immigration fraud at Southern Border
The Trump Administration is considering expanding DNA testing to every illegal alien in the United States' custody.
The move aims to tackle child trafficking and immigration fraud at the US Southern Border where migrants are traveling with unrelated children in a bid to pose as a family and take advantage of loopholes in asylum policies.
According to a draft regulation obtained by BuzzFeed News, Homeland Security officials are preparing to give Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents additional powers to take DNA samples from illegal aliens in their custody.
The news follows a successful trial of rapid DNA testing by ICE earlier this year, which found around 30 percent of migrants tested at the US-Mexico border were faking family relationships with children they were traveling with.
Giving agents such authorization would better help authorities tackle on immigration fraud and prevent criminals from entering the country.
It will also likely face pushback from immigrant-rights and progressive groups, however.
Officials within the Department of Homeland Security would use software that enables them to extract genetic material from any undocumented immigrant in their custody in only five minutes time, according to the draft regulation proposed by the Justice Department.
According to the Daily Caller, if the regulation is put into place, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants could be tested annually.
Such a move could be a game-changer in dealing with the influx of family units appearing before the U.S. southern border, many of them found to be lying about their familial relations in order to skirt immigration laws.
A team of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in April were deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to help combat immigration fraud.
HSI uncovered 316 fraudulent families by June, as well as 599 bogus documents and agents presented 629 different people to the Justice Department for various criminal violations.
Border Patrol had already discovered thousands of cases of fraudulent families over a six-month period.
“It’s very clear that the cartel and smugglers know the weaknesses in our laws,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in April about the situation.
"They know that family units and unaccompanied children will be released with no consequences for their illegal entries."
This would not be the first time border officials used DNA testing to detect family fraud.
A Rapid DNA test pilot program launched in May was able to yield results within 90 minutes after a cheek swab.
However, that program was limited in scope and was only conducted on migrants who volunteered.
Homeland Security has yet to comment on the reports.