Offbeat DNA testing being done on separated migrant children and parents, official says

09:16  05 july  2018
09:16  05 july  2018 Source:   cnn.com

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Lorente said DNA tests could help make sure that children coming across the U.S.-Mexico border are not being trafficked. She noted that separating parents from their children is bad enough. Do you think DNA testing should be used to reunite migrant families? Write to us in the Comments

Lorente said DNA tests could help make sure that children coming across the U.S.-Mexico border are not being trafficked. She noted that separating parents from their children is bad enough. Do you think DNA testing should be used to reunite migrant families? Write to us in the Comments

U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants' country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. John Moore/Getty Images © John Moore/Getty Images U.S. Border Patrol agents take a father and son from Honduras into custody near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center for possible separation. U.S. border authorities are executing the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants' country of origin would no longer qualify them for political-asylum status. John Moore/Getty Images

DNA testing is being conducted as part of the process to reunite children who were separated from their parents at the border, a federal official with knowledge of the reunifications told CNN.

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More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the form did not provide an option for migrants to challenge their removal before a judge.

DNA Quest Expanded: Separated Migrant Families in the U.S. MyHeritage has pledged 5000 free DNA tests to help reunite migrant parents and children separated at the U.S. border.

"The safety and security is paramount and that it is not uncommon for children to be trafficked or smuggled by those claiming to be parents. To our knowledge this is a cheek swab and is being done to expedite parental verification and ensuring reunification with verified parents due to child welfare concerns," the official said.

The source could not discuss how long the practice has been taking place, if the testing requires consent and if the DNA is stored in a database.

Jennifer K. Falcon, communications director for RAICES, a nonprofit in Texas that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees, called the move deplorable because collecting such sensitive data would allow the government to conduct surveillance on the children "for the rest of their lives."

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When migrant parents were taken into ICE custody at the border, their children became wards of Health and Human Services, specifically its Whereas foster parents are in the area and have access to the court system, he said , separated parents “may not even know anything about the process.

The Trump administration says it has the right to detain children and parents caught crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. Some 2,000 migrant children were separated from their parents and detained as a result of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that began in early May and sought

"This is a further demonstration of administration's incompetence and admission of guilt, this further drives home the point we've been saying. They never registered parents and children properly."

Falcon also said it's not possible the migrant children -- some as young as two months old -- are giving their consent to DNA testing.

The organization said they'd never heard of DNA testing being done to reunite families before and they don't support the move.

Attorneys representing migrant families told CNN some of their clients have been approached by individuals who identified themselves as health officials or were wearing military-style clothing.

"I was told [by my clients] that 'men in blue military uniforms' were performing and ordering the blood and saliva tests," said Sophia Gregg, an immigration lawyer at Legal Aid Justice.

Gregg said she's learned that those individuals work with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Feds can't find moms and dads of 38 migrant children under age 5

  Feds can't find moms and dads of 38 migrant children under age 5 The parents of 19 young children were already deported, and the whereabouts of parents of another 19 are unknown.In a status hearing with U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California, who ordered the reunification, government lawyers said the Health and Human Services Department would only be able to reunify about half of approximately 100 children under the age of 5 by the court-ordered deadline of July 10.

Migrants have been ordered by the Home Office to take DNA tests to prove they can legally stay in the UK. The demand, via letter, that some foreign parents of British children seeking to stay take a test , is contrary to the department’s policy.

A lawyer says Friday has marked the first time since May 24 that no parents charged with crossing border illegally in the McAllen, Texas area had been separated from their kids. (June 22) AP.

Some are also conducting lengthy interviews with parents about their children, asking questions such as where their children were born and whether they have distinguishing marks, another attorney told CNN.

The Trump administration has been facing continued scrutiny and questions over what will happen to the undocumented families who were separated as a result of the administration's widely criticized "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. CNN has previously reported that it's not clear how many migrant families have been reunited since a judge ordered the US government to halt most family separations at the border.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services said there were 2,047 children from separated families in its care but since then officials have refused to specify how many kids from separated families remain in custody.

CNN's Catherine Shoichet, Nick Valencia and Miguel Marquez contributed to this report.

Judge to weigh new rules as U.S. works to reunite migrant families .
<p>A federal judge on Friday will consider imposing tougher rules on the U.S. government to ensure it reunites as many as 2,000 immigrant children with their parents by July 26.</p>In a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego ordered the government in June to reunite families that had been separated after crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. The government failed to meet a Tuesday deadline for reuniting an initial group of children under 5.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/offbeat/-162384-dna-testing-being-done-on-separated-migrant-children-and-parents-official-says/

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