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US conducting DNA tests of children split from migrant parents
US conducting DNA tests of children split from migrant parents

US conducting DNA tests of children split from migrant parents

ANI | Updated: Jul 05, 2018 23:25 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jul 5 (ANI): The Donald Trump administration is conducting DNA tests in order to reunite children who are separated from their immigrant parents at the US-Mexico border.
In a statement, the Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Thursday, that the DNA testing was a "faster and more accurate" method to comply with a court order to reunite children with the separated families by July 10.
An HHS official was quoted by The Hill as saying that the method will also prevent the authorities from handing over the children to someone claiming to be a parent.
"The decision has been made to use the faster process of DNA verification to confirm that relationship," said Jonathan White, deputy director for children's programs at the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security and health personnel associated with the HHS will collect cheek swabs from children and parents and will send it to a DNA lab for verifying the relationship.
White clarified that the information would be used "solely" for verifying the relationship of a child with the parents and not for other purposes.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that under Trump's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy, nearly 3,000 children, who are separated from their families will be reunited by July 10, the court's deadline.
"We will comply with the court's deadline. We will do as much as possible up until the deadline set by the court to ensure these are the parents, and do background checks and otherwise confirm suitability," he said.
Earlier in the day, Trump, in a series of tweets, called on the US Congress to fix 'insane' immigration laws, adding that it should pass "smart, fast and reasonable" laws.

"Congress must pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws now. Law Enforcement at the Border is doing a great job, but the laws they are forced to work with are insane. When people, with or without children, enter our Country, they must be told to leave without our........ (sic)," Trump wrote on the micro-blogging site.

He asserted that the US was "being forced to endure a long and costly trial."
".....Country being forced to endure a long and costly trial. Tell the people "OUT," and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn. Hiring thousands of "judges" does not work and is not acceptable - only Country in the World that does this!" the US President wrote in his third tweet.

Earlier in April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new zero-tolerance policy on the border to prosecute immigrants for entering the country illegally.
By virtue of this policy, families who crossed together illegally would in some cases be separated, prompting a sweeping outcry from Democrats and immigration advocates.
Trump signed an executive order to "keep families together" on June 20, amid the massive backlash over his administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
On a related note, people from all walks of life across the US took to the streets in large numbers to protest against Trump's immigration policies and family separations on June 30.
The protesters urged the administration to withdraw the zero-tolerance policy and end separation and detention of migrant families. (ANI)