Two weeks ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with members of Congress about using DNA testing, said Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council.
“Sessions is talking to congressional members and is hoping for a legislative fix,” Perkins said, adding that the DOJ would like to see “just, fair and enforceable” immigration policies. To that end, “They are looking at how to use DNA tests in the field to verify they are parents and not traffickers,” according to Perkins.
Sessions told Perkins “We know for a fact that a lot of adults taking children along are not related to them. [They] could be smugglers. They could be human traffickers. It’s a very unhealthy dangerous thing and it needs to end. We need to return to a good lawful system,” Sessions told Perkins on his broadcast.
UK authorities, meanwhile, has admitted that officials “wrongly forced immigrants to take DNA tests in order to settle their UK status,” after previously saying that the identification method was “entirely voluntary,” according to the Independent.
The accusation against the Home Office comes a month after Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, said in answer to a parliamentary question that any DNA was submitted on an “entirely voluntary basis”.
In one case, a letter was sent by the Home Office to an applicant’s solicitor stating that it was “imperative” they submit DNA evidence to confirm the paternity of their client’s child. This was despite the fact that the child already had a British passport.
The letter, seen by The Independent, stated: “In order to progress your client’s case it is imperative that your client submits the DNA evidence requested to confirm the paternity of your client’s child”–Independent
“In the absence of such evidence the secretary of state for the home department is unable to provide you with a specific timeframe to conclude this claim.”
The asylum seeker’s attorney, Enny Choudhury, from the Joint Coincil for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) excoriated Noakes over her comments.
“The Home Office already accepted my client’s child was British when it issued him a passport. Asking for DNA tests on top of that is an unlawful frustration of her application, delaying a decision by over two years, and all too typical of Home Office practices,” said Choudhury.
In another example, a family of Vietnamese origin in Dover said that last year the Home Office demanded their children undergo a DNA test even though the UK consulate in Hanoi accepted that their father was a UK citizen when he registered their births in 2004, according to the Financial Times.
Meanwhile back in the USA…
DNA testing at the border has already sparked concerns from immigration advocacy groups.
Jennifer K. Falcon, communications director for RAICES, a nonprofit in Texas that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees, called the move deplorable because collecting such sensitive data would allow the government to conduct surveillance on the children “for the rest of their lives.” –CNN.