A group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., is asking the FBI to provide details about a reported backlog in the processing of DNA tests of illegal immigrants — expressing concern about the impact it could have on national security.
The lawmakers wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray after a report in the Daily Caller, which reported that there is a 15-month backlog on DNA testing for migrants. The FBI provides the test for migrants 14 and over.
“These reports are concerning since it means criminal illegal aliens can move throughout the country for over a year before law enforcement can act on evidence gathered from a DNA test,” the lawmakers say.
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A group of migrants walk to a van as hundreds of migrants gather along the border Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in Lukeville, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Wray has himself reportedly expressed concern about the significant increase of samples being taken and in need of processing due to the massive surge in migrants at the southern border.
FY 23 broke records for migrant encounters, with over 2.4 million migrant encounters. December saw over 302,000 encounters, a new record for the month. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has told agents that they are releasing “above 85%” of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
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GOP lawmakers write letter to Wray on DNA backlog by Fox News on Scribd
The lawmakers say that Customs and Border Protection has already reported a shortage of DNA test kits, and are foregoing testing eligible illegal immigrants.
“And yet, despite this inability to test all eligible aliens, it is reported that the FBI is experiencing a drastic backlog in processing these test kits. If nothing else, this is more evidence of the unprecedented immigration crisis facing our country,” they say.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 31: House Oversight Committee member Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) talks to reporters as he departs the ONeill House Office Building on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee heard closed-door testimony from Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
They note ongoing challenges in addition to the numbers being faced by agents at the border, including the number of individuals on the terror watch list — which broke records last year — as well as the use of fake passports by some aliens to pose as unaccompanied children in order to be released into the U.S.
“The crisis at our border is extremely distressing for us as well as millions of Americans, and a backlog in testing the DNA of illegal aliens will only exacerbate the issue,” they say.
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The lawmakers seek find out whether the number of FBI personnel working on the backlog has increased or decreased, and the efforts the agency has taken to reduce the backlog. It also asks what the FBI believes has led to the current shortage of funding for the program.
The letter comes just as Congress is locked in debate over the White House’s supplemental funding request. It has requested over $105 billion, including $14 billion for border funding. Republicans are demanding increased limits on asylum and the administration’s use of parole.