(TargetLiberty.org) – Republican Representative Lance Gooden of Texas has proposed a new legislation aimed at combating human trafficking at the southern border. The bill, titled the “End Child Trafficking Now Act,” seeks to make DNA testing mandatory in cases where there is no documentation or witness available to establish a familial connection between an illegal alien and the minor they are accompanying.
Under this act, either the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Health and Human Services would be responsible for conducting DNA tests to verify familial relations. Gooden emphasizes that the goal of this legislation is to protect vulnerable children who may be subjected to exploitation by human traffickers. He argues that it is essential to ensure that children are not viewed as mere “skip the line” tools for cartel members.
The need for such a measure is underscored by the alarming statistics at the U.S.-Mexico border. This fiscal year alone, there have been 81,474 encounters with unaccompanied or single minors. In the past, DNA testing was employed by ICE officials during the Trump administration, but those contracts expired under the Biden administration.
The prevalence of human trafficking victims has increased by 193 percent in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, prompting lawmakers and border officials to develop new policies and regulations to address this issue. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee is also preparing to reintroduce the Act in the Senate. Originally introduced in August 2019, the Act includes a provision that imposes a 10-year sentence on adults who falsely claim family ties to a child. It also seeks to criminalize the practice of “child recycling,” which involves exploiting a child multiple times to facilitate an adult’s entry into the country.
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