A new report on the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement pilot DNA testing program shows nearly 1 in 3 illegal immigrants who came to the border with a child they claimed was theirs shared no biological relation.
An immigration official involved in the program’s launch spoke anonymously to the Washington Examiner where he said it was working as designed:
“There’s been some concern about, ‘Are they stepfathers or adopted fathers?'” the official said. “Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members.”
In some incidents where Immigration and Customs Enforcement 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, which was designed by a U.S. company.
The pilot lasted a few days earlier this month and was used only in McAllen, Texas, and El Paso, Texas. ICE said the Department of Homeland Security would look at the results to determine if it will be part of its comprehensive solution to border issues. Homeland Security has not issued a public statement on its intentions going forward.
The pilot program was the first DNA testing ever conducted at the southern border and was vehemently opposed by Democrat lawmakers. Now, immigration officials are looking to roll out the DNA tests more broadly, the Daily Mail reports.
The decision, the Daily Mail reports, comes at a time that the border has become overwhelmed with illegal crossings and asylum requests:
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.
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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.’