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DNA Tests Considered to Verify Relatedness at Border

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering using DNA tests to determine whether adults and children crossing the country's southern border are blood relatives, the Daily Caller reports.

About 2,000 children who crossed the US-Mexico border have been separated from their families and held in cages as part of a new "zero tolerance" policy to prosecute everyone who has crossed the border illegally, according to the Associated Press.

Sessions appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, who is the president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian nonprofit organization. In the interview, Session claimed that many of the adults who have accompanied minors across the border are not, in fact, related to them. The Daily Caller adds that Perkins issued a statement after his interview with Sessions that said Sessions is looking into using DNA tests to confirm relatedness.

The US previously has used genetic tests in immigration cases, and the State Department website says they can be used to establish biological relatedness between a citizen and a child born abroad when other documentation is insufficient. The New York Times reported more than a decade ago that such genetic testing was in use, but also that it has revealed hidden family secrets. One man, a widower who sought to bring his sons to the US, learned through such testing that only his eldest son was biologically his and only that son was allowed in the US, it added.

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