CNN is reporting that DNA samples have been forcibly taken from immigrant children by the Department of Homeland Security.
According to a federal official interviewed by CNN, the testing is part of the process to reunite children who have been separated from their parents.
However, the official could not or would not say whether the DNA is being stored in a database or how long the testing has been going on.
As the government gets closer and closer to the court-mandated deadline to reunite all children with their parents, the lack of a cohesive strategy is becoming increasingly apparent.
Despite the fact that federal officials claim that the DNA testing is part of the plan to reunite families, others have said that it is the clearest indication yet that the administration in fact has no plan whatsoever.
The fact that many of these children’s parents have already been deported underscores the administration’s lack of preparedness since they can’t match a child’s DNA sample to someone they no longer have access to.
“It seems to me a de facto admission that they have no idea how to match the kids with their parents. They need to go to DNA testing there, April — a de facto admission that they had no plan when they separated these children from their parents, which, in fact, we know from admissions and reporting they didn’t.” — John Berman
The agency is obtaining the DNA samples by swabbing the cheeks of children as young as 2 months old, without consent.
Civil and human rights groups have decried the practice, arguing that the data could allow the federal government to keep tabs on young immigrants indefinitely.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.