Florida’s Senators teamed up to spotlight a Joe Biden administration policy that they say worsens “human trafficking and exploitation” at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, joined by Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas with concerns over the May 31 end of “familial DNA testing.”
Though the memo from Customs and Border Patrol added that Combined DNA Index System testing would continue, that didn’t reassure the Republican Senators, as evidenced by the Rubio-led epistle.
“We write to demand that CBP continue to conduct familial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing at the U.S. southern border,” the Senators state.
They argue that “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% of all rapid DNA tests came back as ‘negative for claimed parent-child relationships.’ Further, in fiscal year 2019, CBP noted that ‘Border Patrol agents identified more than 6,200 fraudulent family members.’”
Charging the Biden administration with “willful neglect of migrant children who have fallen victim to labor trafficking in the United States,” the Senators argue the policy shift “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,” the Senators claim.