WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) on Friday sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar demanding answers to the grave concerns raised by HHS’ use of DNA testing to reunite children taken from their families. The Congresswoman was joined by 28 of her congressional colleagues in her call for transparency and protection of the human rights of all migrants, including those seeking asylum in accordance with U.S. law.
“Congress and the American public must know how the Administration is using DNA testing to reunite families torn apart at our border. Attorneys and advocates have already made it clear that legal counsel and translators are what is needed to address the catastrophic results of the Trump Administration’s cruel and reckless immigration policies, not indiscriminate DNA testing. We must know what is being done to protect the privacy of these individuals, including children and others who can’t legally consent to testing. And we must have proof that this material will never be used for any purpose other than reunification and will be subject to rapid destruction after testing is complete,” Rep. Speier said. “None of this would be necessary had the President not embarked on this inhumane and nonsensical policy. It is clear that greater oversight and transparency are required to address this Administration’s self-induced crises and pathetic inability to craft and follow sound policy.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.