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ICE to Expand DNA Testing Sites

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to implement rapid DNA testing at seven border sites, according to The Hill. The aim of the testing, it notes, is to identify migrants who claim to be family members, but who are not actually related.

Earlier this month, Time magazine reported that the Department of Homeland Security was launching a pilot DNA testing program at the US-Mexico border, and this new initiative, dubbed Operation Double Helix 2.0, Mother Jones says, appears to be an expansion of that effort.

In a statement of work posted to the Federal Business Opportunities site Tuesday, ICE says it is seeking a contractor for this initiative that will have to be able to handle running about 50,000 tests between June and November and possibly another 50,000 tests between November and April, using two machines at each of the seven sites. ICE declines to name the sites where testing would take place in its statement, but notes they would likely change during the course of the contract.

Mother Jones adds that families that arrive at the border can only be detained for 20 days, and that only about 1 percent of familes have been found to be fraudulent groups.