Trump Administration Will Use DNA Test To Find Migrants Pretending To Be Families

Trump Administration Will Use DNA Test To Find Migrants Pretending To Be Families

The Department of Homeland Security will start performing DNA tests on migrants crossing into the US from Mexico, according to a new report from BuzzFeed. The pilot scheme is intended to identify migrants posing as families.

The program will be tried over two or three days at two locations on the southern border and migrants found pretending to be families could be prosecuted. The tests will take around 90 minutes, but it’s not clear if this plan could be successfully rolled out on a larger scale.

However, the number of migrants who’ve been found posing as families is tiny. Last year, just 3,100 people were found to be lying about being in family groups or of migrants over 18 posing as children. This is 1% of family arrivals last year – 256,821 families crossed the border.

President Donald Trump and his surrogates have long suggested that migrants are lying about their reasons for entering the US, claiming many are simply criminals. Trump has criticized migrants bringing their families and previously railed against ‘chain migration’. This pilot scheme seems directly aimed at tackling a practically non-existent problem: large numbers of migrants lying to gain entry.

The news comes as the Trump administration is considering new restrictions on asylum applicants, including fees, shorter appeals times and barrier to work for certain asylum seekers. Trump continues to push the idea that immigration is a crisis and more measures like these can be expected.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Senior Editor and Political News Writer.