The Trump administration is going to DNA-test families at the border

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Carter Sherman
May 1, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security is rolling out a DNA testing program at the border designed to root out immigrants they think may be posing as families, a phenomenon data suggests occurs in only 1% of cases.

The pilot program will begin next week and run for two to three days at two border locations, agency officials told CNN and BuzzFeed News. Immigrants will be subjected to a cheek swab, the results of which will be available in an average of 90 minutes. Information from the tests will not be kept or shared by federal agencies, an Immigration and Customs official told CNN.

“This is part of a larger investigative process. This is not screenings, this is not just random application of this. This is a pilot designed to assess the usefulness of this technology in an investigative process,” ICE acting Deputy Director Derek Benner told CNN. Both ICE and Customs and Border Protection will be involved in the pilot.

The number of migrants arriving at the United States’ southern border, mostly from Central American countries, has been on the rise for months. In March, feds apprehended more than 53,000 families — the highest in a single month since 2012, when CBP started keeping track, BuzzFeed News reported.

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