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DNA tests ordered to reunite separated migrant families

July 5, 2018 4:09 pm

US officials have ordered DNA tests on some 3,000 migrant children in an effort to reunite families who have been separated at the US-Mexico border.

US Health Secretary Alex Azar said the tests were needed to meet a court deadline to reunite families, as the agency’s usual methods were too slow.

Mr Azar, whose agency oversees migrant detention centres, said about 100 of the children were aged under five.

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Activists fear the DNA data can be used by the government for other purposes.

Critics also say that the children are too young to consent to a DNA test.

US judge orders migrant family reunions
The agency is bound by a court order to reunite children aged four and under by 10 July and children aged five to 17 by 26 July.

Mr Azar said the agency’s traditional method of using birth records to match parents and children would take too long, adding that in order to comply with the deadline, normal vetting processes may need to be truncated.

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