EL PASO, Texas - Department of Homeland Security officials on Tuesday announced they will begin using voluntary DNA testing in cases where they believe migrant parents are crossing the border with children who are not their own.
D-H-S officials did not say when or where they will begin the test pilot program.
The move is aimed at trying to stop child trafficking, as well as child recycling. That's when a family crosses the border with a child, the child is then sent back to Mexico to cross with another family.
Testing will be initiated once Customs and Border Protection officials refer possible cases of migrant parental fraud.
D-H-S officials say this is only a test pilot program and DNA tests will only be conducted for a few days.
The process takes from 90 minutes to two hours after both the child's and parent's cheeks are swabbed for samples.
Officials say evidence will be destroyed and cannot be used for any criminal offense.
Officials said they referred 45 cases of migrant parental fraud for prosecution, but only 30 cases will be prosecuted.
D-H-S officials hope the pilot program will lead to a more extensive DNA program aimed at stopping child recycling and child smuggling.