End Child Trafficking Now Act (HR 3864, 116th Congress)

Policy Details

Policy Details

Originating Entity
Last Action
Referred to House Subcommittee
Date of Last Action
Aug 12 2019
Congressional Session
116th Congress
Date Introduced
Jul 19 2019
Publication Date
Nov 18 2019

SciPol Summary

The End Child Trafficking Now Act (HR 3864, 116th Congress) would amend Section 211 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow Department of Homeland Security agents to conduct DNA testing of aliens at the border in order to determine whether or not a familial relationship exists between the alien and any accompanying minors. The End Child Trafficking Act, if passed, would add language to the Immigration and Nationality Act directing the Department of Homeland Security to request a DNA test be conducted in the event that an alien arriving at the border with a minor is unable to provide either (a) documentation showing that the alien is the minor’s relative or guardian or (b) a witness able to testify that the alien is the minor’s relative or guardian. If the results of the DNA test are inconclusive, immigration officers may conduct further interviews to determine the relationship between the alien and the minor.

In the event that the alien cannot satisfy conditions (a) or (b) and does not consent to a DNA test, that individual will be deemed inadmissible and any minors would then be treated as an unaccompanied child under Section 279 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. If the alien is found to be merely posing as a relative or guardian without any actual familial relation and there is reason to believe that he or she is guilty of a felony, HR 3864 stipulates that they may be arrested pursuant to Section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

While HR 3864 is not necessarily restricted to the southern border of the United States, human trafficking has historically been associated with the southern border. As a result, many efforts against human trafficking have been directed there. In late 2019, the Trump administration announced that they would instruct the Department of Justice to create a framework to collect DNA from everyone who crosses the United States border (84 FR 56397). HR 3864, as well as other similar policies that the Trump administration is considering, has raised ethical concerns, given the potential negative ramifications of collecting and storing human DNA, specifically those regarding the balance between human trafficking and national security concerns and personal privacy.

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