After the Biden administration ended DNA testing at the southern border that was protecting children from human traffickers, a group of Republican senators is pushing for legislation to once again require DNA testing for any illegal alien crossing the border with a child — and calling for immediate deportation for those who refuse.
DNA testing was implemented at the southern border under former President Donald Trump in response to illegal aliens using children to try to pose as families to enter the United States — many of whom were actually being trafficked.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) HIS Executive Associate Director Derek Benner previously explained the two major goals of the Rapid DNA testing.
“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,” he said, according to Defense Daily. “Second, to identify and stop the criminal organizations that are generating false documents and supporting child smuggling.”
“It is clear on-site DNA testing has a strong deterrent effect, as HIS agents witnessed multiple instances of individuals confessing to faux families prior to being tested as well,” Benner added.
Republicans blasted President Joe Biden for aiding human traffickers through ending the policy, with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) tweeting: “The Biden Border crisis is already the worst in our history. Now they’re not even checking that people claiming to be families are actual families. This is every human trafficker’s dream come true.”
The Biden Border crisis is already the worst in our history. Now they’re not even checking that people claiming to be families are actual families. This is every human trafficker’s dream come true. https://t.co/6tPX3xDDSH
— Coach Tommy Tuberville (@SenTuberville) May 22, 2023
On Wednesday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) reintroduced the End Child Trafficking Now Act — a bill that would require all illegal aliens caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to confirm their relationship with any children they are traveling with before entering the country. The bill would also require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport anyone who refuses to take the rapid DNA test — and impose a maximum ten-year prison sentence for those who lie about their familial ties to a child.
Blackburn spoke to the Washington Examiner about the bill.
“Estimates are that 30% of the children that present with adults at the southern border are being trafficked. They are not related to the adult that they’re with,” she told the outlet. “We also know that the cartels use what is called ‘child recycling.’ They will take a child, put them with cartel members [they’re] trying to move into the country. And after the process work is completed, then the child is sent back to Mexico and the cartel members are free to move about the country. And this is — in my opinion, that is a horrific process.”
The DNA testing policy was terminated at the end of May, but Blackburn is urging the Biden administration to reverse that decision — noting that the test takes less than an hour and could save the lives of numerous children.
“That may be the difference in saving that child’s life, in keeping that child out of a gang or a sex ring or keeping them from being a drug mule,” the Tennessee senator said. “We know that [the Department of Health and Human Services] has 85,000 unaccompanied minors that they now cannot find. We need to look at this as a humanitarian crisis.”
Amid what Blackburn calls a “humanitarian crisis,” she believes that support for the bill will grow on both sides of the aisle in the near future. Blackburn previously introduced the bill in 2019, but it was never brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
Blackburn was joined by at least ten Republicans to introduce the bill — Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Steve Daines (R-MT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and John Hoeven (R-ND).
Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) also introduced a companion bill in the House.
Blackburn appeared on Newsmax’s “National Report” to advocate for the bill: