The pilot program to test the DNA of migrants arriving at the US southern border could instead lead to more families being separated, the American Prospect reports.
The Department of Homeland Security pilot program, which was to begin this month, is aimed at catching migrants who are traveling with children that are not their own. DHS has said, according to Time magazine, that some migrants are taking advantage of a "legal loophole" that says children are not allowed to be held for more than 20 days, which then leads to their release and the release of their parents. But with a rapid DNA test, the department aims to determine the relationship between children and the adults accompanying them.
But the American Prospect writes that even children traveling with family members could be separated from them if they are a sibling or grandparent rather than their mother or father.
"What DHS is trying to do is add a scientific veneer to this policy of splitting up a child from their relatives," César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández from the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, tells the American Prospect.