Exclusive – Sen. Marsha Blackburn Proposes Familial DNA Testing at Mexican Border to Combat Child Trafficking

By Sean Moran

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said in an interview with Breitbart News that she is introducing legislation to restore a requirement to DNA test illegal aliens coming across the southern border.

Blackburn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the End Child Trafficking Now Act, which would require a DNA test to determine the relationship between illegal aliens coming across the border and any accompanying children.

The Tennessee senator introduced her bill as the Biden administration is set to end the familial DNA testing requirement at the southern border. This requirement was first implemented under the Donald Trump administration, following a court order related to the separation of migrant children from their families.

Blackburn said that she introduced the bill due to the enormous amount of child trafficking at America’s southern border.

She explained, “What we have learned from border patrol is that as many as 30 percent of all the children that arrived at the southern border are being trafficked. There is no family relationship. With the individual bringing them to the border, the cartels are wise to do this and they have started to form to forge documents, that would be birth certificates, passports, and things of that nature because they’re using these fraudulent documents we need to return to a practice that we have had in times past, which is if you do not have documents or if you cannot prove this is your child that you submit to a DNA test.”

Blackburn originally introduced this bill in 2019, and in 2019, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executive associate director, said, “It is clear on-site DNA testing has a strong deterrent effect, as HSI agents witnessed multiple instances of individuals confessing to faux families prior to being tested as well.”

Blackburn, along with Sens. Katie Britt (R-AL) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), detailed the humanitarian crisis at the beginning of 2023:

The End Child Trafficking Now Act would:
•    Require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport illegal aliens if they refuse a DNA test
•    Mandate a maximum ten-year sentence for all illegal alien adults who fabricate family ties or guardianship over a minor
•    Criminalize “child recycling,” or when the same child is used repeatedly to gain entry through illegal aliens who are neither relatives nor legal guardians
•    Require the Health and Human Services (HHS) to process the child as an unaccompanied minor if family ties or legal guardianship cannot be proven with the accompanying adult

Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Hyde-Smith, Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), J.D. Vance (R-OH), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) cosponsored the bill. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) introduced the bill in the House.

Hagerty said in a written statement:

The deterioration of our southern border empowers cartels, human traffickers, and smugglers to exploit innocent children. Human smugglers pair children with single adults so they can enter as a family unit. The End Child Trafficking Now Act includes common-sense safeguards to prevent children from being trafficked by cartels, which perpetuates the endless cycle of human smuggling.

Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, a spokesman for the National Police Association, praised the bill in a statement:

At the center of the illegal immigration debate should be the horrific physical and sexual abuse of children, often at the hands of unrelated adults.  Mandatory DNA testing and significant penalties for adults refusing to comply would help stop the incredible heartbreak of the criminal “recycling” of children.  Very often these abused minors end up living a life of sex trafficking, drug abuse and worse, and the National Police Association strongly encourages the support and passage of the “End Child Sex Trafficking Now Act.

Tom Homan, the former acting director for ICE, said:

We know based on numerous DNA tests done under the Trump administration that many of these families are not families and these children are being rented and trafficked with the help of criminal cartels. Not only is this administration not conducting DNA tests at the level they should, their mediocre vetting has resulting in nearly 100,000 missing children. Where is the humanity they claim they brought to the crisis?

He added, “The devastating results thus far are far worse than anything I have seen in my 35 years enforcing border security.”