The Feds Say They'll Use DNA Testing To Reunite Kids And Parents Separated At The Border
The Feds Say They'll Use DNA Testing To Reunite Kids And Parents Separated At The Border

Facing a looming deadline to reunite kids and families separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “Zero tolerance” policy, the federal government is using DNA testing to link children with their parents.

The decision to use DNA matching to speed reunions left questions about how carefully the Department of Homeland Security and HHS planned for the separation of parents and children.

Advocates have complained for weeks that they have been unable to use the DHS computer system to locate children and parents and there have been multiple reports of parents who do not know where their children are being held or who have ben deported without their children.

Jonathan White, a commander in the US Public Health Service and the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS, said the DNA will be collected via cheek swab by a contractor and will only be used for the purposes of linking up kids with their parents.

During the call, HHS officials said the department had fewer than 3,000 children in its custody who’d been separated from their parents, but did not give specific numbers.

Advocates for immigrants took a dim view of HHS’s plans to use DNA to match children to parents.

Jennifer Falcon, a spokesperson for the advocacy group RAICES, noted that the program will give the US government the ability to track the families, including young children who have never faced criminal charges.


The US Will Resort To DNA Tests In An Effort To Reunite Children And Their Parents

The US Will Resort To DNA Tests In An Effort To Reunite Children And Their Parents

Facing a looming deadline to reunite kids and families separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “Zero tolerance” policy, the federal government is using DNA testing to link children with their parents.

Still, it was difficult not to conclude that the resort to DNA matching to speed reunions meant the Department of Homeland Security and HHS had not planned for the obvious eventuality that separated parents and children would have to be reunited.

Advocates have complained for weeks that they have been unable to use the DHS telephone and computer systems to locate children and parents.

There have also been multiple reports of parents who do not know where their children are being held or who have been deported without their children.

HHS and DHS have declined to offer precise numbers of the number of children US officials have separated from their parents.

The officials said the department is holding 100 children under age 5 who’ve been separated from their families – and who must be reunited with their parents by Tuesday.

Advocates for immigrants took a dim view of HHS’s plans to use DNA to match children to parents.

Trump Administration Using DNA Tests to Match Separated Migrant Families

Trump Administration Using DNA Tests to Match Separated Migrant Families

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HHS secretary says Trump administration rushing to reunite migrant families separated at the border

HHS secretary says Trump administration rushing to reunite migrant families separated at the border

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday that officials are racing against a federal judge’s “Extreme” deadlines to reunite “Under 3,000” migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border.

Azar said the Trump administration is working to transfer children from HHS shelters to join their detained parents in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, a step that will probably infuriate lawyers who say the migrants should be freed to pursue asylum claims, as the government has done in the past.

In his ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered the Trump administration to return children to their parents by July 26, though children under age 5 must be reunited by Tuesday night.

Two House Oversight Committee leaders pressed key Trump Cabinet officials for a detailed accounting of the thousands of children separated from their parents since the administration began in May to prosecute every illegal border crossing.

“Like many Americans, we want to ensure that we can reunite children who have been separated from their families as expeditiously as possible,” wrote Rep. Mark Meadows and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the committee’s ranking Democrat.

A 1997 federal consent decree generally prohibits the government from detaining migrant children longer than 20 days, which prompted officials to release entire families in the past.

“We’ve got a court order that requires at DHS after 20 days that you break families apart, that you separate children from families in ICE custody and send them to us. That’s one side,” Azar said.

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Source:
The Feds Say They’ll Use DNA Testing To Reunite Kids And Parents Separated At The Border
The US Will Resort To DNA Tests In An Effort To Reunite Children And Their Parents
Trump Administration Using DNA Tests to Match Separated Migrant Families
HHS secretary says Trump administration rushing to reunite migrant families separated at the border

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