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Pilot DNA Testing Program at Border

Department of Homeland Security officials at the US-Mexico border are to pilot a DNA testing program they say is aimed at catching migrants traveling with children who are not their own, Time magazine reports.

DHS says there has been a sharp increase in the number of adult migrants traveling with unrelated minors in an attempt to take advantage of "legal loopholes," Time adds, noting that minor children are not allowed to be held more than 20 days, leading to their and their parents' release.

According to CBS News, the pilot program, which is to begin next week, relies on cheek swabs from parents and children. CNN adds that the rapid DNA test will take about 90 minutes.

This program is "yet another example of the Trump Administration seeking to intimidate and deter asylum seekers," Vera Eidelman, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union tells CBS News, adding that "forced DNA collection is coercive and intrusive, and it raises serious privacy and civil liberties concerns."

Last June, the Daily Caller, a conservative website, reported that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was considering using DNA tests to determine whether adults and children entering the US from Mexico were blood relatives.