Smugglers bringing immigrants to the United States frequently hide fake families among the real. As a result, border agents often use DNA testing to verify family relations.
But despite the president’s having cited extensive verification efforts last month as a reason for delays in processing children detained in cages at the border, Biden officials have performed significantly fewer DNA tests than in the past.
According to the report, out of more than 52,000 people who came across the southern border in a “family group” in March, only a few dozen took DNA tests.
As a result, thousands of unrelated immigrants may have been permitted to come into the country, and thousands more may come in the near future.
Under the Trump administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials distributed DNA tests frequently, and whenever family relations could not be officially verified.
The Biden administration’s lackluster policy coincides with a massive surge of immigrants at the southern border.
Further, Biden recently announced his picks for top Department of Homeland Security roles, both of whom were notoriously opposed to Trump’s immigration policies.
People familiar with ICE’s testing procedures said the agency has received instructions to release families into the United States or deport them.
They have received further instructions only to conduct DNA testing when absolutely necessary.
“They are not [testing] unless there is a significant suspicion,” one familiar with ICE testing said.
“This administration wants these families and kids released quickly,” the source added. “That is their No. 1 goal, so they are not going to do anything to slow that process down.”