The Department of Health and Human Services says it’s using DNA tests to help reunite 3,000 illegal immigrant children separated from their parents—but won’t say who is doing the tests.
The agency is under an order from a US federal district court to reunite alien minors under 5 years old with their parents. It says DNA tests are a fast way to do it.
Testing a child’s DNA requires consent of their parent or guardian. Without knowing who the children’s parents are, it’s unclear how the US government can obtain that consent.
According to the HHS, some people claiming to be parents aren’t really—and a few have already admitted it.
On July 10, the agency said 34 parents had already cleared a criminal check and taken a DNA test linking them to their kids.
The HHS has refused to say who is performing the tests. Although the DNA tests themselves are mostly infallible, the logistics of keeping track of everyone’s samples isn’t. A mix-up could lead to the US deciding a parent and child aren’t actually related.