DNA testing used to reunite undocumented parents and children, HHS secretary says

DNA testing used to reunite undocumented parents and children, HHS secretary says

DNA testing used to reunite undocumented parents and children, HHS secretary says

Azar said that the agency would meet its deadline but, echoing U.S. President Donald Trump's earlier analysis, he blamed Congress and the courts for any delay in reversing one of the harshest impacts of the president's new "zero-tolerance" policy on border enforcement.

On the call, an exasperated-sounding Azar characterized the immigrant parents as criminals for bringing their children in the first place, dismissed reports of abuse in his detention centers as "the theater of politics", and repeatedly suggested that immigrants claiming to be parents are in fact unrelated to the children taken from them. "We want this to be as compassionate a process as it humanly can be", Mr Azar said.

A federal judge in California ordered that all of the children must be returned to their parents by July 26.

The Trump administration's separation policy has been met with widespread outcry, marches and legal action.

Azar described the court order as "extreme" and said the department won't be able to use its usual methods for parental verification - like checking birth certificates - to meet the deadlines because those processes take longer.

The government has allegedly started collecting DNA to reunite migrant children with their families, a federal official told CNN on Thursday.

"The court's order imposes obligations on us that requires us to determine whether a parent or a child were separated at the border by DHS personnel", Azar said. Azar said officials are now working through some 11,800 kids in government custody to determine which came with family and which were unaccompanied. Before the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, migrants seeking asylum under USA laws were often granted temporary release as their cases were resolved. The court order, Azar said, "goes back indefinitely".

US does not recognise Russia's annexation of Crimea - White House
He stated this answering a question about whether Washington recognizes the occupation of Crimea by Russian Federation . Pressed on whether the U.S. position on Crimea could change, Bolton said "we'll see".

Falcon, communications director for RAICES, a nonprofit in Texas that offers free and low-priced legal services to immigrants and refugees, called the move deplorable because collecting such sensitive data would allow the government to conduct surveillance on the children "for the rest of their lives".

There are more than 11,800 minors in their care - most of whom arrived at the border unaccompanied. The children are being held in shelters overseen by HHS.

Azar said the administration will use "every minute of every day" to confirm the parentage of children and to make sure they have a suitable caretaker. About 80 percent of those children arrived unaccompanied at the border, and many are teenage boys.

Previously, Azar and department officials had set the number at just more than 2,000. A court hearing on the administration's efforts and plans is scheduled for tomorrow. As NPR's Joel Rose reported, "immigrant advocates say the government is in no hurry to release parents from immigration detention or help those who are released regain custody of their children". It's done by swabbing the inside of the cheek of parent and child and sending the results to a lab for comparison.

"When people, with or without children, enter our Country, they must be told to leave without our".

Azar also stated that the current situation is "partially born out of years of congressional failures to fix our immigration system".

After it failed, Trump insisted he had "never pushed the Republicans to vote for the Immigration bill" because it would not have received enough Democratic support to clear the Senate.

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