Because Of Course
Leave it to this administration to use DNA tests meant to reunite families as DNA testing is being used to keep families apart–not reunify them“>a stall and barrier.
Some of the records that linked parents and children have disappeared or have been destroyed, according to one report. In other cases, the records are sitting in border patrol or ICE files, but the government has claimed that the fastest way to prove that families are related is to give them DNA tests rather than for one agency to call another. (This came two weeks after Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, said that he would be able to find children “within seconds” when questioned about the challenges of reunification.)
In at least some cases, parents were told they’d have to pay for the DNA tests themselves, with money they don’t have. The tests take at least a week for the government’s contractor to process.
As one immigration attorney put it, it could be a delay tactic: The longer the government can keep children and parents apart, the more it can pressure them to accept deportation. Immigration advocates say that DNA tests raise privacy concerns, and only make sense in cases where there’s clear evidence a child might be a victim of human trafficking. When some DNA testing companies offered to donate tests in June in an attempt to help with reunification, some nonprofits working with separated families turned the offers down.
The evidence that they’re actually doing this is kind of slight, but the thing about running the program the way this administration has you don’t get much benefit of the doubt.