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DNA testing may cause more complications for asylum seekers

Most people make some type of life-changing decision during their lives. These decisions can have minor or major impacts depending on the nature of the choices made. For individuals who face threats in their homelands, seeking asylum in Louisiana and other parts of the United States may be a life-changing decision they have to make.

Often, the decision to seek safety in another country involves families as well as individual people. However, families reaching the United States border may be facing additional hardships as immigration officials work to identify so-called "fraudulent families." This term apparently refers to groups of people that come to the border with children who are not related to them in efforts to bypass a long stay in immigration detention. As a result, immigration enforcement is scheduled to start DNA testing at two points along the southern border.

Though officials believe that this testing will help prevent fraudulent families from taking advantage of the law, immigration advocates believe that testing could violate individuals' privacy as well as result in unnecessary family separations. These concerns stem from the fact that unnecessary separations have occurred in the past and the fact that some parents and guardians are not biologically related to their children. Still, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials believe that the testing will strengthen investigations.

When individuals are already fearful, they may not know when certain actions may violate their rights or what their rights even are. Because asylum is such a beneficial but complex process, it is important that immigrants seeking protection are treated fairly. Louisiana attorneys experienced in immigration law could help interested individuals better understand their options for pursuing safety in the United States.

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