Arizona border chief confident DNA testing will find fake migrant families
PHOENIX — The head of a Border Patrol sector in Arizona believes a program to test migrants crossing the border for DNA to identify fake families will be successful.
Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said border agents asked for the pilot program after witnessing first hand the trafficking and use of children to circumvent the immigration system.
“One of the elements behind that is it’s a cyclical pattern in which they’re utilizing the same kids,” Villareal said on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.
“In a sense, you show up with this child, you pretend the child is yours, you recognize that you’re exploiting a loophole whereupon then you’re released. And you turn the child back over to the smugglers, who fly the child back to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and they repeat that cycle,” he continued.
“It’s a disgusting practice, but unfortunately it’s not an anomaly in this world.”
The program is expected to begin as soon as next week. Department of Homeland Security officials will test for two or three days at two undisclosed border locations.
Villareal said border officials were able to effectively prove 30 wcases of migrants using children in an attempt to cross the southern U.S. border and has built additional criminal cases, but did not provide more information.
He added that he believes the program will be effective, “both in identifying children being trafficked and helping to deter and prosecute criminal organizations.”
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