Serving
Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3
COMPLIMENTARY

Nov 2023 | November 2023 | 0 comments

Calls for the reinstatement of familial DNA testing at the US-Mexico border have intensified in recent weeks

November 2023 | 0 comments

November 2023

Phoenix, AZ — Calls for the reinstatement of familial DNA testing at the US-Mexico border have intensified in recent weeks, as concerns over child trafficking and fraudulent family claims continue to escalate. The Biden Administration’s decision to halt the testing earlier this year has been met with criticism from various officials and lawmakers who argue that the testing is crucial for border security and child protection.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond is among those urging the White House to reestablish familial DNA testing at the border. In a letter, Desmond highlighted the importance of DNA testing in catching “fraudulent families” — smugglers, cartel members, and desperate migrants claiming trafficked children as their own1.

The familial DNA testing, initially introduced during the Trump era following a court order, had proven to be a vital tool in curbing human trafficking and identifying fraudulent family units attempting to cross the border. It exposed numerous cases where individuals, claiming to be parents, had no blood connection to the accompanying children.

The cessation of DNA testing was communicated through a memo to frontline Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents, indicating that the practice would cease later in the month it was issued. However, this cessation was exclusive to familial DNA testing, with other forms of DNA collection by the FBI continuing unaffected2.

The decision to halt DNA testing coincided with the expiration of a vendor contract for DNA test kits. Despite the apparent logistical reason, the exact logic behind the cessation was not publicly disclosed, sparking speculation and concerns among officials and the public alike2.

As the debate over border security and immigration policies continues, the calls for reinstating familial DNA testing underscore the ongoing concerns over human trafficking and the challenges faced in verifying the identities of migrants at the border. Without a clear explanation from the Biden administration on the cessation of DNA testing, the issue remains a significant point of contention among lawmakers, border enforcement agencies, and child protection advocates.

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