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Dems Block New Legislation to Deter Child Trafficking

( – US Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has made children one of her top priorities as a member of Congress. In early May, President Joe Biden signed one of her bipartisan bills into law that protects kids in cyberspace. That bipartisanship was not extended to a bill that seeks to deter child trafficking at the southwest border.

On May 23, Blackburn asked for unanimous consent to pass the End Child Trafficking Now Act. The bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to require a DNA test on adults and children who cross the border together to determine if they are relatives. The Department of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security would work together to ensure the test was administered.

Unanimous consent would have allowed the Senate to set aside its normal rules of procedure to expedite the bill’s passage. However, as its name indicates, it must be unanimous. In a statement after Balckburn’s motion failed, she blamed Democrats for blocking it.

Blackburn also claimed Biden ended the DNA testing last year and said cartels are “abusing and recycling minors to help illegal aliens.” She said the bill shouldn’t have been controversial and that if Democrats objected, they were “making their position clear on the issue.”

Department of Homeland Security officials have allegedly said up to 30% of the kids arriving at the border are not related to the people they traveled with. In 2019, Derek Brenner, a former ICE official, called the on-site DNA testing a major deterrent for child traffickers.

In addition to the on-site testing at the border, the Biden administration also withdrew former President Donald Trump’s 2019 proposal that would have expanded biometric collection in 2021. Beyond DNA testing, it would have allowed iris scanning, palm prints, voiceprints, and other technology — some of which had not been fully tested. US citizens would have also been required to submit to testing to prove they were related to the immigrants they were sponsoring.

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