An immigration lawyer in El Paso reports these tests can cost upwards of $700 (About R9340)
The Daily Beast reports that, as of yesterday, the Trump administration has mandated at least four women at the border shell out for a DNA test in order to be reunited with their children. Three of these women are the separated children’s biological mothers, while the fourth woman is the older sister to a 3-year-old boy.
“None of them have the money [for the tests], so it’s going to fall back on us to push back on that,” Ruben Garcia, the director of the El Paso, TX immigrant shelter, told the Daily Beast. According to the same article, an immigration attorney innamed Iliana Holguin reports that a number of her clients have been forced to pay upwards of $700(R94 to prove their relationships to children at the border.
Meanwhile, some of them women who have been reunited at the border face a devastating reality: their children no longer recognize them. According to the New York Times, mothers in Phoenix were met with fearful tears when they were finally reunited with their children, some after three or four months.
“He didn’t recognize me,” Mirce Alba Lopez, 31, told the Times of her 3-year-old son. “My joy turned temporarily to sadness.”
A second mother, Milka Pablo, had her 3-year-old daughter scream and attempt to writhe from her mother’s arms once they were reunited. “I want Miss. I want Miss,” her daughter reportedly screamed, referring to the social worker her daughter had been living with since she was separated from Pablo at the border.
Matthew Albence, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s executive associate director of enforcement and removal operations, made a statement on Tuesday announcing that “parents with children under the age of 5 are being reunited with their children and then released and enrolled into an alternative detention program.” According to the Times, these adults will be given ankle bracelets and will then be “released into the community.”
The Trump Administration has yet to comment on DNA testing at the border.
BY HOLLY RHUE
This article originally appeared on elle.com