In just 90 minutes, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were able to determine that an illegal immigrant who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border with a six-month-old child was lying.
As the Washington Examiner reports, the migrant claimed the child was his own as he sought passage into the country. The new rapid DNA testing determined he shared no relationship with the child and he was arrested for alien smuggling.
From the report:
On May 7, Border Patrol agents based in Hidalgo, Texas, watched 51-year-old Amilcar Guiza-Reyes wade through the Rio Grande with an infant. After the pair arrived on U.S. soil, they were taken into custody and brought back to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas.
Agents learned Guiza-Reyes had been deported in 2013. He was turned over to ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations agents, who believed he may not have been the father of the child.
ICE ordered a DNA test of the pair and the man consented to a cheek swab for the two. The swab was run through a machine, which concluded the two were not related.
The Honduran man admitted the baby’s birth certificate was illegitimate. He was charged in federal court in the Southern District of Texas on May 10 with alien smuggling.
The child was then turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement as the child is now an unaccompanied minor.
The new pilot program came under quick scrutiny when it was first announced by the Trump administration and Democrats in Congress resisted it. The administration continued anyways and already found success in charging a migrant with smuggling.
The Washington Examiner reports the DNA testing was only conducted for one week at select facilities near McAllen and El Paso, Texas.
Here’s more from the report:
The Washington Examiner reported in March the Department of Homeland Security and ICE were looking at adopting the rapid testing system. On May 1, Homeland Security announced it would launch a pilot of the program in instances where agents could not verify a family unit’s relationships.
The debut marked the first time DNA testing of any sort has been used at the border. Currently, authorities must use verbal statements and written documents to verify family connections.