Trump administration’s DNA testing program quickly delivers results and proves critics wrong again

DNA testing was used at the border for just a few days and it’s already proving to be one of our law enforcement officers’ most powerful weapons against child trafficking and the abuse of our immigration laws.

On May 1, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the very first pilot program to use a new form of rapid DNA testing in order to verify whether adults apprehended crossing our border are really part of a “family unit.”

Despite repeated warnings and mounting evidence that human traffickers were claiming unrelated children as their own, the announcement met with immediate backlash from open-borders groups such as the ACLU. At the time, I was compelled to author an article defending the program, knowing how many children it could save from the horrors of exploitation by coyotes and the transnational sex trade.

The new DNA tests, which produce results in 90 minutes and are destroyed afterward to protect personal privacy, went into the field despite the objections. They were used only for a few days and only at a select few sections of the border, but that’s all it took for the program to show its worth.

Almost immediately after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent began using the simple cheek-swab test, it began to make their jobs easier. A DHS spokesperson told reporters that some migrant adults admitted they took someone else’s kids with them and lied about being a family before they even submitted their samples.

In cases where agents were suspicious about a “family unit” and brought out the DNA test, almost one in three of those who did submit to DNA testing were confirmed to be fraudsters.

By now, it should be clear that the objections to testing purported family units were utterly disingenuous. Our system affords special treatment to family units, and open-borders advocates have applauded the exploitation of those loopholes as a way of circumventing legal restrictions on immigration.

Because of the 1997 “Flores settlement” and various other policies, detaining children in facilities with adults is heavily restricted, and children generally must be released after 20 days. At the same time, public hysteria over “family separations” has made it nearly impossible to detain illegal immigrants who arrive with kids.

Add our massive and growing immigration court backlog to the mix, and children offer an immediate, guaranteed path into the American interior for those who violate our immigration laws.

The same groups that are trying to stop DNA testing have worked tirelessly to undermine our immigration system using these very loopholes, and they are concerned that technology will soon make that scheme untenable.

Decades of misguided court rulings and political timidity have created perverse incentives for illegal immigrants to bring children with them on the perilous journey to illegally enter the United States.

The danger in which these children are placed is entirely the result of our broken immigration system. In the worst cases, kids are being “recycled” again and again, forced to make the arduous trek through the desert with adults seeking to exploit them for an easy ticket into America.

The threat to our immigration system itself is every bit as serious. Family units, as coyotes and their liberal enablers in the U.S. have learned, are much more difficult for our law enforcement professionals to handle than the single adults who used to make up the vast majority of illegal aliens. The unprecedented explosion in apprehensions of “family units” — many of them now clearly exposed as fake — has stretched our border security resources to the breaking point.

DNA testing is a simple, unobtrusive, and inexpensive tool that makes it more difficult for criminals to exploit vulnerable children, removing a major incentive for human traffickers. We ought to implement it across the entire border, and do so as quickly as possible. In an area of public policy fraught with controversy and polarization, this should be a rare no-brainer.

Jan Brewer is a former Governor of Arizona


  1. Some years ago South Carolina prisions began collecting inmates DNA as a part of theirincarceration policy. Future/past crimes data base so why not for foreign invaders ?

  2. We are living in the midst of a popular delusion. Tens of millions of people believe in an open borders and the liberal agenda. Popular delusions always end horribly.

  3. Oh Billy – I haven’t read about your spygate concerns. Where were you on that big outrage? Nothing on Obummers repeat corruption scandals.

  4. DNA testing – that is the real question – when will it be ‘national ID’ it’s coming – think about it, it can stop the drug trade – remove cash and use your new DNA ID to buy – with a chip, use your phone, go to the bank, use your chip, buy gas, food, work, medicine, all the records are assigned to your ID no more ID fraud, credit cards, medical records mix up or privacy issues its all to your Chip/DNA ID – no cash needed, no tax fraud, no voter ID needed, your a digit and DAN ID’d …. so many uses of the DNA, its for the good of the nation, the population, THE CHILDREN ! and it’s coming… and this is how it will be sold – and you’ll buy it because you’ll have to accept it, or you get ‘nothing’ and perhaps this border issue will be the catalyst, and in the EU as well, because it’s coming world wide. The ‘control’ of all is coming now.

    • DNA results are destroyed after verification, as per the article. If children are victims “separated from their parents” are the adults not committing a crime? DNA should be saved in these cases. DNA would be useful for convicted or deported criminals as well. Who the heck wants to be them to steal identity as you say. Break the law, or deported particularly for crimes on the other side of the border protects American citizens.

      • You can believe DNA testing isn’t coming, but there are stores now not accepting CASH – True or False
        Facial recognition ID is now implemented in many locations across the USA – airports – sporting events – many more.. the tip of the iceburg
        Buying by ‘self scan’ is one jump to you are DNA chip implanted, your number is the number of your DNA – buy? walk and select – walk out – you are scanned as you leave and this is deducted from your account – unless it’s blocked… this is the life of many already in CHINA where this type of political control is already in use – don’t think it will happen here? Like I said, fraud, taxes, drugs, buying, working all the solutions to the wall is the DNA chip – your no fly Arizona License is a step to that data base, no ‘current Az License’ you don’t fly, coming this next year, have “your facial ID ready” to use? Or will you no longer fly? You’re IN or your OUT… and that is the way the mark will be… no surprise – just a matter of time and implementation ‘ in our lifetime ‘ It’s already happening – tossed away DNA – naive think.

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