August 2019 – For the unfortunate children being smuggled into the U.S. at the southern border, a simple Q-tip may be their ticket out of a life of human trafficking. Thanks to Homeland Security’s new pilot DNA program, one cheek swab will determine which adults are cheating the system with children who are not theirs. Typically, Immigration and Customs Enforcement must rely only on verbal or written testimonies from “family members,” leaving them unable to determine whether “parents” are telling the truth.
The new rapid DNA test, with only a 90-minute turnaround, would allow ICE to make decisions based on concrete facts rather than gut feelings. During the short DHS trial period in May, as many as 30% of “parents” who consented to the test turned out to be frauds.
The Washington Examiner pointed out that just the threat of DNA testing is a deterrent, reporting that when agents told adults they were going to be tested to verify their relationship with the minor, several confessed no relation prior to being swabbed. The rapid DNA test is still under evaluation until H. S. leaders decide if they want to implement the technology throughout the entire agency.