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Rubio, Colleagues Criticize Biden Policy Empowering Child Trafficking

May 26, 2023 | Press Releases

Recent reports indicate that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will stop using “all familial DNA testing” at the U.S. southern border this month. This decision will significantly increase the risk for children to be exploited and trafficked through fraud schemes along the U.S. southern border. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas demanding CBP continue to conduct familial DNA testing at the U.S. southern border. 

  • “After years of consistent inadequacy in addressing the crisis at the U.S. southern border and unwillingness to protect migrant children from exploitation, the decision to end ‘all familial DNA testing’ will inevitably result in further exploitation of these desperate children.” 

Joining Senator Rubio were Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Budd (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Secretary Mayorkas:

Recent reporting indicates that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to end “all familial DNA testing” at the U.S. southern border on May 31, 2023. We write to demand that CBP continue to conduct familial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing at the U.S. southern border. 

As you know, familial DNA testing has played a vital role in combatting child trafficking and family fraud. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG), from June 2019 to September 2021, 8.5 percent of all rapid DNA tests came back as “negative for claimed parent-child relationships. ”Further, in fiscal year 2019, CBP noted that “Board Patrol agents identified more than 6,200 fraudulent family members.” This action also follows recent reports and Congressional inquiries pertaining to the Biden Administration’s willful neglect of migrant children who have fallen victim to labor trafficking in the United States.

After years of consistent inadequacy in addressing the crisis at the U.S. southern border and unwillingness to protect migrant children from exploitation, the decision to end “all familial DNA testing” will inevitably result in further exploitation of these desperate children. Specifically, it will enable human smuggling and trafficking and will deepen the pockets of criminal enterprises seeking to traumatize and take advantage of vulnerable families and children. This result is unacceptable and your agency has a responsibility to mitigate and prevent such outcomes.

Given these concerns, we demand that CBP continue to conduct familial DNA testing at the U.S. southern border. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your prompt response. 

Sincerely,