Facing a July 10th deadline, the federal government has resorted to cheek swab DNA tests to reunited undocumented migrant children with their families, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
"It's important to remember that information from children can at times be unreliable," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on a conference call this week.
There are nearly 3,000 kids in U.S. government care after they were separated from their families after crossing the border illegally.
While the Department of Health and Human Services promised the DNA results would only be used to match parents with their children, there are concerns from immigrant rights groups about human rights violations.
Jennifer Falcon, spokeswoman for the San Antonio-based RAICES, says these cheek swabs were taken forcefully.
"The humans in this case are minors who have no guardians with them to agree to it. It's a violation of their rights."
She says, by resorting to the DNA test, it’s proof that the government bungled the initial separation of families at the border.
"The administration does not know how to reunite these families, as they have been telling us over and over," she explains.
A federal judge ordered the government to reunite parents separated from children younger than the age of five by July 10. The government was also given a July 26 deadline to reunite parents and children ages five to 17.
"We will comply even if those deadlines prevent us from conducting a standard or even a truncated vetting process," Azar told reporters.