"For years, the United States has been the victim of immigration fraud by aliens falsely claiming to be someone they are not, as well as by aliens falsely claiming to be related to someone they are not.
"But the problem has ballooned in the past two years, as wave after wave of migrants has taken advantage of a loophole limiting the detention time of those aliens who have minors in their custody.
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discovered hundreds of cases of adult illegal aliens travelling in the company of unrelated children and claiming them as their own. More than 300 are already being prosecuted (1). But the total number is doubtless in the tens of thousands, because the fraud goes undetected.
"In late April 2019, the Border Patrol began a small pilot program at one Border Patrol station using so-called rapid-DNA tests on arriving illegal aliens claiming familial relations with minors in their custody. The program has proven successful, showing that in about 15% of the cases, illegal aliens were fraudulently claiming the children as their own. A total of 109 cases of fraudulent parental claims were discovered through the rapid-DNA pilot program, according to statistics made public by DHS.(1)
"But the true percentage is likely higher than 15%, because illegal aliens use different tactics to gain release in different sectors. Rapid-DNA testing was also deployed in the El Paso Border Patrol Sector, albeit for only one day. According to Border Patrol sources, the tests revealed that approximately 25% of the asserted family relationships were false. Inexplicably, the El Paso rapid-DNA program was terminated a day later.
"In some cases, the DNA test reveals the alien to be lying. In other cases, simply being confronted with the test causes the alien to admit that the child is not his own – such as when a 51-year old man bought a 6-month old infant in Guatemala for $80, but admitted doing so when faced with the DNA test.(2)
"It’s time to expand the rapid-DNA testing program nationwide. Only then will word get out to the migrants and the coyotes that it no longer pays to bring unrelated children on the dangerous journey to the United States border.
"The practice of using unrelated youths as a get-out-of-jail-free card has resulted in the horrific exploitation of thousands of children. Many are taken without the consent of their biological parents. The theft of children from their parents in Tijuana migrant facilities has become a massive problem, with many parents afraid to take their eyes off of their children. (3) Coyotes troll the migrant camps, offering to buy the children for $350 each.
"Even some leftist immigration rights activists support using rapid-DNA tests, because it reduces the exploitation of children and helps reunite children with their real parents.(4)
"There’s no downside to expanding the rapid-DNA program to every sector of the southern border. The only issue is cost; but with tests costing less than $100 each, it’s a bargain. If the illegal aliens stay in the country, they’re going to cost American taxpayers a lot more. An illegal-alien-headed household consumes, on average, $14,400 more in public benefits per year than it contributes in taxes. (5)
"In short, there’s no good reason to hesitate in deploying the rapid-DNA tests nationwide. Indeed, the longer DHS waits, the greater the number of children who will be bought, exploited, and abused. It’s time to act."
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Kris W. Kobach is a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020 and is the former secretary of state of Kansas. He is currently General Counsel for We Build the Wall. An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop President Obama’s 2012 DACA amnesty. During 2001-03, he was Attorney General John Ashcroft’s chief adviser on immigration law at the Department of Justice. His website is kriskobach.com.