Biden to end DNA testing used to detect child trafficking at the southern border

by Jacob Fuller

Matt Bush, FISM News

According to a leaked memo obtained by Just the News, the Biden administration is set to cease using familial DNA testing at the border which has been a key deterrent to prevent child traffickers and smugglers from taking children across the border.

The memo states: “The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) familial DNA contract with BODE Technologies will end May 31, 2023, and all familial DNA testing will conclude on that date.”

In 2019, according to the Christian Post, the Trump administration launched a DNA testing program at the southern border to identify whether or not adults who were bringing children across the border were telling the truth about their relationship with the child.

CBP agents would ask adults claiming to be related to children they were accompanying to voluntarily take a DNA test that would determine if they would be housed or released together. This test, and the adult’s willingness to take it, were also used to decide if a child was being trafficked.

“Our goal with rapid DNA testing remains twofold. First, to protect children from being smuggled across the border by ensuring they are with their parents and not being used as pawns by individuals attempting to exploit immigration loopholes,” said ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Executive Associate Director Derek Benner when the testing began. “Second, to identify and stop the criminal organizations that are generating false documents and supporting child smuggling.”

The initial results back in 2019 were clear evidence of the program’s success. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website stated,

Between mid-April and June 14, ICE has identified approximately 275 fraudulent families, uncovered 735 fraudulent documents or claims, and presented 553 individuals for prosecution to the Department of Justice.

A study in 2022 also showed the effectiveness of familial DNA testing in the fight against child trafficking as Just the News reported,

CBP has identified numerous family fraud attempts by illegals over the years. In 2022, a government accountability office report found that roughly 1 in 10 (8.5%) of children tested turned out not to be related to the illegal aliens who were crossing with them.

The memo makes clear that familial DNA is separate from the “booking DNA collection” done by the FBI. This decision, according to the memo, “does not impact collections as part of the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) program which should continue uninterrupted.”

The CODIS program, according to the Daily Wire, “operates national databases of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons.” That DNA collection will continue.

It is difficult to discern the reason for removing familial DNA testing at the border, and since the memo was leaked and not released, the Biden administration has not given an explanation for the seemingly sudden decision.

The crisis at the border is not getting better, in fact, since Title 42 expired, encounters with migrants at the border have increased dramatically. If child trafficking was a problem before, that problem will more than likely continue to grow as well, and getting rid of one of the primary sources to stopping trafficking at the border for many is difficult to understand.