Monday, August 19, 2019

ICE wants to implement DNA testing at border locations

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seeking to implement Rapid DNA testing at seven border locations to identify fraudulent claims of familial relationships by migrants trying to enter the U.S.

The agency is seeking help from a contractor in its efforts to administer the DNA tests, which it said in a statement of work should take 90 minutes or less. ICE posted a synopsis of the project on Tuesday that said it will “aid in the identification of fraudulent familial relationship claims made by individuals entering or attempting to enter the United States.”

“The utilization of a Rapid DNA testing program will assist [Homeland Security Investigations] HSI Special Agents with identifying and investigating those who continue to commit these types of criminal acts in direct violation of U.S. law,” the synopsis said.

According to the statement of work, ICE is looking to implement the program, dubbed Operation Double Helix 2.0, at seven locations at the southern border where HSI has determined that “the influx of illegal aliens is prevalent.” The statement did not identify the locations but said they would be revealed to the contractor when the contract is awarded.

It also said that they are subject to change over the course of the operation. Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona were listed as “testing locations” in a document related to the project. The statement said that no more than 50,000 tests will be administered during the “contract base period,” and an additional 50,000 could be administered during “option period one” if it is exercised.

Responses to ICE’s request for proposals are due by June 3. Earlier this month, ICE ran a pilot DNA testing program, according to CNN. In recent months, immigration officials have said there has been increased number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

THE HILL