The Trump administration is struggling to figure out how to reunite the immigrant families it separated as part of its "zero tolerance" enforcement policy, with DNA tests becoming a go-to method for the scrambling officials. Immigrant advocates have already expressed alarm over the method, saying children cannot give informed consent for the tests, but now The Daily Beast has learned that some migrant parents are being told that they have to pay for the tests themselves if they want to be reunited with their kids.
Ruben Garcia, the director of Annunciation House in El Paso, said that four women in the shelter were told they had to pay for the tests to be reunited with their relatives. One immigration attorney who works with Annunciation House said her clients had to pay between $700 and $800 to prove their relationships to the government.
"None of them have the money [for the tests], so it's going to fall back on us to push back on that," said Garcia.
It isn't clear how widespread it is for the government to ask for payment, but the Office of Refugee Resettlement maintains that the tests are done at "no cost." Read more about the history of DNA tests and immigration at The Daily Beast. Jeva Lange