DHS to use DNA to confirm migrants' family status: report

DHS to use DNA to confirm migrants' family status: report
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The Trump administration is set to begin using DNA testing to verify whether migrants traveling as families are in fact related in an effort to target human trafficking at the border.

Two Department of Homeland Security officials told CNN that a pilot program will run for two or three days next week involving a "rapid DNA test" that can provide results in 90 minutes.

"This is part of a larger investigative process. This is not screenings, this is not just random application of this, this is a pilot designed to assess the usefulness of this technology in an investigative process," Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Deputy Director Derek Benner told CNN in a statement.

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The program is meant to cut down on migrant groups posing as family units, CNN noted.

It comes as the U.S. has faced a swell of apprehensions at the southern border, particularly of family units, in recent months.

Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin McAleenan said in March that the surge had driven his agency to its "breaking point."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE has maintained that his administration is not preparing to restart the separation of migrant children from their parents upon their arrest, a widely condemned practice that was ended last year, despite reports that the Trump administration's holding facilities for migrants have reached capacity.

The president said last month, however, that his decision to rescind the policy had opened the door for more migrants to come to the U.S.

"Once you don’t have it, that’s why you see many more people coming. They’re coming like it’s a picnic because, 'let's go to Disneyland,' " he said.