Department of Health and Human Services officials Thursday confirmed the department is using DNA testing to verify familial relationships when reuniting parents and children separated at the border.
“Because of the compressed time frame, the process of using documentation is not going to be completed within the time frame allowed by the court decision for the great majority of these children,” Jonathan White, deputy director for children’s programs at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, told The Hill.
White continued, “For this reason, the decision has been made to use the faster process of DNA verification to confirm that biological relationship.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins first learned about the possibility that DNA testing would be an option two weeks ago when he said Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned the issue to him before his interview with the AG. RELATED: Tony Perkins: Sessions Talking To Lawmakers About Using DNA Tests To Verify Parents Of Immigrant Children
“They are looking at how to use DNA tests in the field to verify they are parents and not traffickers. The reality is if American parents put their kids through what these immigrant parents have done to their kids — they would be charged with child abuse,” Perkins said.
However, opponents of the administration’s border and immigration policy say that the DNA testing is nothing short of a way to keep an eye on illegal immigrants.
Jennifer K. Falcon, communications director for the non-profit organization RAICES, told CNN, “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.”