Immigration

DHS Wants to Use DNA to Find ‘Fake Families’

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As early as next week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is going to launch a pilot program on the southern border that will collect DNA from immigrants in an apparent effort to find 'fake families' or unrelated people posing as families for better treatment.

The pilot program, which was first reported by CNN last night, will be carried out next week and possibly scaled upward in the coming months.

The Department of Homeland Security will start a DNA testing pilot program next week to help identify and prosecute individuals posing as families in an effort to target human smuggling, two department officials confirmed to CNN.

The Rapid DNA testing, as it's known, involves a cheek swab and can, on average, provide results in about 90 minutes, a senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said. The pilot program will run for two to three days in two border locations, the official added.

The existence of this program is presumably a result of Trump's bleating about fake families. Comparing family migration to "Disneyland," Trump recently said that more people are crossing the border in family units so they "don't get separated" the way he wanted them to be separated.

Now, so-called 'fake families' have been identified, but they only account for 1 percent of family units who've crossed the border in the last year (3,100 out of 256,000) according to Buzzfeed News.

And with that said, the idea that families can only be verified through DNA makes me uncomfortable. I think most people have friends they would identify as family and I presume that's especially true in an area of the world where biological families have been torn apart by violence.

This DNA program may identify a relatively small number of people who are trying to game the system, but it could also lead to the separation of people who belong together.

  • Draxiar

    Um…adopted kids?

  • muselet

    “Sir, your DNA results have come back and you are not related to the woman you claim is your wife. I’m declaring yours a fake family and placing you and the people you are travelling with under arrest.”

    –alopecia

  • Username1016

    Yeah. Like the way they like to drug-test people who get food stamps, and the testing program is way more expensive than just giving everyone food stamps in the first place.

    I read this book called Innumeracy, and one factoid that stuck with me is, conservatives hate false positives and liberals hate false negatives. Like, conservatives hate it if anyone gets food stamps who isn’t entitled to them, and liberals hate it if anyone is denied food stamps who IS entitled to them. This feels like the same syndrome.

  • Georgie