Posted on May 21, 2019

Immigration: It’s in Our DNA

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, May 20, 2019

To some people, it’s just a Q-tip. But to the kids smuggled over the southern border, it could be the ticket out of a life of human trafficking. Thanks to Homeland Security’s new pilot DNA program, one cheek swab is all it takes to find out which adults are gaming the system with children who aren’t theirs. And this month, immigration officials have proven one thing: family separation isn’t bad — if they were never family to begin with!

Ninety minutes. That’s the turnaround time for a rapid DNA test that could revolutionize border security. Just during DHS’s short trial period, which only lasted a few days this month, as many as 30 percent of “parents” who consented to the test turned out to be frauds! That number, which an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official leaked to the Washington Examiner, may only be from two cities, but it’s more than enough to get the Trump administration’s attention.

{snip} Until now, Homeland Security personnel have had no way of knowing if the “parents” they’ve caught on the border with children were actually telling the truth. {snip}

That’s where testing like this comes into play. In a fraction of a day, U.S. officials are showing that they can produce conclusive evidence that would help them make better decisions for kids. “We all want the children back with parents,” Trump officials have said, “but we are committed to verification for the safety and welfare of the children.” After all, not even the real parents always have innocent motives. As Health and Human Services (HHS) explained to reporters last July, “We’ve learned that some parents have criminal histories including child abuse and child cruelty, child smuggling, narcotics crimes, robbery convictions, and even an outstanding warrant for murder.”

{snip} Even now, the Washington Examiner points out, just the threat of DNA testing is a deterrent. “In some instances, where [U.S. agents told] the adults they would have to take a cheek swab to verify a relationship with a minor, several admitted the child was not related and did not take the DNA test.”