Feds can't find moms and dads of 38 migrant children under age 5
The parents of 19 young children were already deported, and the whereabouts of parents of another 19 are unknown.In a status hearing with U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California, who ordered the reunification, government lawyers said the Health and Human Services Department would only be able to reunify about half of approximately 100 children under the age of 5 by the court-ordered deadline of July 10.
DALLAS—U.S. government officials recently told four immigrant women that they must pay for DNA tests in order to be reunited with their children, according to The tests are the latest ad hoc effort by the Trump administration to reunite families it had separated—in some cases because authorities
The July 10 deadline for the Trump administration to reunite detained families with their children under 5 years old has passed. And now, as the Daily Beast reports, government officials have told at least four immigrant women that to get their children back, they'll have to pay for their own DNA tests to
DALLAS—The government recently told four immigrant women that they must pay for DNA tests to prove they are related to the children they were separated from in order to be reunited, according to the shelter that housed the women.
The tests are the latest ad hoc effort by the—in some cases because authorities took documents from adults proving they are related to their children. The tests are being administered by a private contractor on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the care and housing of children. HHS has refused to name the contractor, which may be a violation of federal law.
What happens after separated immigrant families are reunited
After a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite the immigrant families it has separated, there's been a trickle of stories of parents being reunited with their kids.Nearly 3,000 kids were separated from their parents as a result of the White House's zero tolerance immigration policy, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar estimated last week.The government has not said how many of them were reunited with their parents, and officials have asked for more time to meet one of the reunification deadlines.
The tests are the latest ad hoc effort by the Trump administration to reunite families it had The women are reportedly being told to pay between 0 and 0. This corresponds with other Immigrant and youth-rights advocates have accused the government of trying to raise barriers that
Told Immigrant Parents to Pay for DNA Tests to Be Reunited With Kids : Advocate ’. thedailybeast.com/ government -tol… ‘23andme donating DNA kits to help reunite migrant families’. Thank you @JackieSpeier for this initiative. Why is the government charging for DNA tests ?
“None of them have the money [for the tests], so it’s going to fall back on us to push back on that,” said Ruben Garcia, the director of Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in El Paso where the women are staying.
Three of the women are mothers of the children, Garcia said, and the fourth is attempting to reunite with her brother, a three and half-year-old boy.
Garcia said that the tests likely cost money that many immigrants entering the country with little more than the clothes on their backs don’t have. Iliana Holguin, an immigration attorney inwho works with Annunciation House, said the government made prior clients pay between $700 to $800 to prove their relationship to a relative as part of their citizenship cases.
Reuniting separated families: Why is it taking so long?
HOUSTON — The Trump administration hit a court-ordered deadline Tuesday to return immigrant children under the age of 5 to their parents, forcing the government to roll back many of the family separations that resulted from its "zero-tolerance" border enforcement policy. Last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw gave authorities 14 days to reunite parents with children under 5, and 30 days to reunite parents with all other children. Here are Last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw gave authorities 14 days to reunite parents with children under 5, and 30 days to reunite parents with all other children.
Government officials reportedly told immigrant parents to pay for the DNA tests that are being used to reunite separated families. Yeni Marciela Gonzalez Garcia, a Guatemalan immigrant and mother of three, speaks at the Cayuga Home in Harlem after being reunited with her children.
The Trump administration has been telling migrant mothers that they must cough up money for DNA tests in order to be reunited with their children, a report says. Garcia told the Daily Beast that when immigrant women come into the US with a kid , Customs and Border Protection agents typically “take
“The government wants the parents to foot the bill for the DNA testing when they’re the ones that caused the need for DNA testing,” Holguin said. “It’s incredible.”
The Office of Refugee Resettlement, responsible for the DNA testing, told The Daily Beast it “provides DNA testing at no cost to verify parentage.”Solution for Self-Imposed Problem
ORR requires DNA testing in some cases to verify adult immigrants are related to children in ORR’s custody, before the children can be released to the adults who have either been paroled or are to be deported. The tests are often required, according Garcia, when parents’ have had their paperwork regarding their children taken by Customs and Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (CBP and ICE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)
“When these families come in, Customs and Border Protection takes away the documents from parents and puts them in their file,” Garcia said. “In the cases where they’ve been separated from their children, ORR then says, ‘You’re going to need to provide the documents that CBP took.’”
Alex Azar: HHS performing act of 'generosity' for immigrant children
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that his department was performing "one of the great acts of American generosity and charity" in its care of immigrant children. Repeatedly pressed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" about why HHS won't allow media cameras into facilities housing children, Azar said, "We have nothing to hide about how we operate these facilities." "It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our country or come across illegally," Azar added.
Immigrant families have been told to pay the costs of a DNA test before they can be reunited with the children they were separated from. Four women being held in a shelter in Texas were asked to pay the cost of a test done by an independent contractor, though the government said it foots the bill for
The U.S. government is reportedly asking immigrant parents whose children were separated from them at the U.S.-Mexico border to foot the bill for DNA tests in order to be reunited with The DNA tests are part of the government ’s attempts to reunite nearly 3,000 children currently in U.S. custody
And when the immigrants can’t, Garcia said, ORR tells parents they must take a DNA test.
It’s unclear how many immigrants have been told they’d have to pay for DNA tests. Other immigration attorneys reached by The Daily Beast said their clients had not been asked to pay for DNA tests.
Greg Chen of the American Immigration Lawyers Association called the tests a “delay tactic” by a government that is “primarily interested in detaining the children and parents to put pressure on them to accept deportation before they have the opportunity to get a fair hearing on their asylum claims and other claims for relief.”
“In a specific case when there’s evidence of fraud DNA testing may be warranted, but it should not be done across the board especially when proof of familial relationship can be demonstrated in other ways,” Chen said.
Those other ways include the government documents that are taken from immigrants once they’re caught for crossing the border, verification that a simple phone call from ORR to CBP or ICE could achieve, Garcia said.
“But when I go to ORR, they say, ‘We don’t talk to immigration [authorities],” he said.
Why the government missed the deadline to reunite immigrant families
WASHINGTON - Criminal background checks, DNA tests, deportations, illnesses and cumbersome communication between three federal government agencies and even more sub-agencies have delayed the reunification of immigrant families that were separated at the border. The Trump administration was supposed to reunite 102 children under age 5 with their parents by Tuesday, according to a deadline imposed by a federal judge in California. It still has not said how many were actually reunited, but figures released Tuesday indicated only four children had been reunited.U.S.
Government Keeps Contractor Secret
‘ Government Told Immigrant Parents to Pay for DNA Tests to Be Reunited With Kids : Advocate ’. Woah! Those tests have been donated for FREE. ‘23andme donating DNA kits to help reunite migrant families’. Thank you @JackieSpeier for this initiative. Why is the government charging for
The parents are paying for this administrations policy in every way possible. They're not even naming the company, which is probably a violation of federal law. Everyone involved in this needs to be arrested and charged with acts of genocide (which family separation is ).
HHS has refused to reveal the identity of the contractor who is performing the DNA tests. A search of federal contract databases showed no recent contracts for DNA work with the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), the HHS office which oversees ORR.
“DNA contract information is not available in a readily reportable format,” ACF told The Daily Beast in a statement. A day earlier, ACH said on itsit had “not consulted with the contractor” to get permission to release the contract.”
Under federal law, government agenciesfrom the date of award to release certain basic contract information to a federal database online.
“Agencies don't need permission from contractors to publicize info on the contract. This is the public's business and taxpayers dollars are being used,” Nick Schwellenbach of the Project on Government Oversight told The Daily Beast. “Agencies often make this information available immediately.”
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union and the government agreed in a court filing on Monday “the federal government will not use the DNA samples or test results for any purpose besides verifying parentage, and will ensure that the DNA samples and test results are destroyed afterwards.” In aon its website, HHS pledged to destroy DNA swabs and test results after parental relationships had been confirmed.
58 children reunited as government reconnects families
Fifty-eight immigrant children under the age of 5 have been reunited with their parents after being separated at the border, the Trump administration said in a Thursday evening filing. That was one more than the government had announced earlier in the day. The new tally comes as part of a class action lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed against the administration.Though the deadline for reuniting children under 5 has passed, in two weeks the government will need to reunite thousands more children aged 5 to 17 to meet the judge's next deadline.
Roots in the Obama Administration
The government has started using DNA testing to reunite migrant children and parents who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, federal The official who spoke to CNN would not say how long testing has been going on or if the DNA is being stored in a database. They also would not answer
DNA tests are being performed on children and parents in an attempt to reunite migrant families Government claims lawmakers' visits could slow family reunifications. "I was told (by my clients) " DNA 's probably going to be our only way of doing that and ensuring these kids get back to a safe
The Trump administration isn’t the first to use DNA tests to verify relationships between immigrants or refugees. Under the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security and State Department initiated a DNA testingfor refugees from certain African countries in the “Priority Three” program that reunited refugees already inside the U.S. with relatives still abroad. Reports of in the Priority Three program (preliminary testing showed only 20 percent of tested immigrants had a biological relationship with claimed relatives abroad) prompted the closure of the program in 2008 before it was reopened in 2012.
A 2010 public noticethat applicants to the Priority Three program would be responsible for the cost of DNA testing, but “successful applicants may be eligible for reimbursement of DNA test costs.”
Garcia said he has heard that test fees can be waived, but has yet to hear specifically from ORR how to apply for those waivers.
“I don’t know if it’s a situation where if you don’t ask about the waivers they don’t tell you,” he said.
DNA tests continued in 2014, when a wave of unaccompanied children began fleeing from gang violence in Central and South America and arriving at the southern border. Then, the Obama administration instituted another initiative similar to Priority Three called the(CAM) program. Many refugee children arrived looking to reunite with parents or relatives already inside the U.S. The CAM program sought to provide a safer alternative to the often dangerous journey unaccompanied children took through Central America and to the border by allowing family members to apply for reunification legally.
Mother, son reunited in Washington but child separations persist
"It felt like my heart was going to come out of my body," Yolany Padilla said of being reunited with her 6-year-old son.As 6-year-old Jelsin Padilla exited gate A2 at the the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, he nervously glanced around the terminal.
pay - for - dna - tests - to - be - reunited - with - kids - advocate … Government won't say who is testing the DNA of immigrants , a possible violation of federal lawhttps Several DNA companies already offered free tests . Are they turning that down in favor of some company with government connections.
How will we reunite kids with parents if we fast-track the parent ’s deportation? How do we make Since many of the kids were paired up with adults who were not their parents to help sneak both in The DNA test is from the government it's perspective the best way to be sure the child is with it's
The program required DNA testing to prove a biological relationship with migrant children. As an HHS fact sheet noted, parents inside the U.S. wouldof testing up front and would “be reimbursed for testing costs ONLY if ALL claimed and tested biological relationships are confirmed by DNA test results.”
The Trump administrationin 2017.
For now, the tests being performed on immigrants caught up in Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy are just another obstacle for mothers and fathers who have already faced plenty of them in order to be reunited with their children, Garcia said.
“Here’s what I want from ORR: it’s my understanding that DNA test results can be quick or slow, depending on whichever you want. So why don’t you take the responsibility, ORR, and get this done quickly and get these kids back with their parents. Don’t give me this, ‘There’s too many to do and it’s going to take a while,’ or ‘There’s a big long line,’ because you’re the one who took the kids away in the first place, so fix it.”
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Feds say 364 children reunited with undocumented immigrant parents .
Federal officials said Thursday that only 1,606 of 2,551 minors must be reunited under the judge’s order. The remainder have either been deported, are in state or federal custody on non-immigration, criminal charges, or are deemed too dangerous for their kids.A majority of the nearly 2,600 immigrant children - who were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border with their parents for trying to illegally enter the country - still remain apart from their parents in facilities around the country.