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Here’s Why Advocates Are Concerned About The US Using DNA To Reunite Families Separated At The Border

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The government is facing strict deadlines to reunite families that have been separated at the border. On June 27, Federal Judge Dana M. Sabraw in San Diego ordered that all families had to be reunited by July 27 if they were older than 5. Children younger than that were supposed to be reunited with their families by July 10. The Trump administration already failed with the younger children, only reunite four children with their families by the deadline. So how exactly do they plan to reunite the rest of the separated families? The use of DNA.

The Trump Administration wants to test the DNA of children and parents in order to make sure that kids are going to the right families.

“The safety and security is paramount, and it is not uncommon for children to be trafficked or smuggled by those claiming to be parents,” a federal official said to CNN. “To our knowledge, this is a cheek swab and is being done to expedite parental verification and ensuring reunification with verified parents due to child welfare concerns.”

However, some say getting the DNA of undocumented immigrants is unethical for a variety of reasons.

Some dispute the need and urgency of gathering DNA in this type of way. While officials say it’s to prevent human trafficking, others fear it’s just another way for the government to store data on undocumented immigrants for other uses. For example, what will be done with the DNA that is gathered, will it be stored or used for another use of data information, and will this data affect the chances of undocumented immigrants trying to become U.S. citizens in the future?

“This is a further demonstration of administration’s incompetence and admission of guilt. This further drives home the point we’ve been saying: They never registered parents and children properly,” RAICES communications director Jennifer K. Falcon said to CNN.

The main concern is how officials plan to get consent about acquiring DNA from a child if the parent cannot give permission.

Usually, parents need to give permission if and when they allow their child’s DNA to be tested. However, in this case, the DNA is being used to prove parental relations so no one is giving consent to the DNA collection of these minors.

We have to confirm that these are in fact their parents and we have to confirm they’re appropriate people to be having custody of these children,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, according to New York magazine. “We’re doing DNA testing on everybody who claims to be a parent of one of our children to confirm that.”

Some undocumented immigrants allege that other types of blood testing has already occurred.

“I was told (by my clients) that ‘men in blue military uniforms’ were performing and ordering the blood and saliva tests,” Sophia Gregg, an immigration lawyer at Legal Aid Justice, told CNN.

Advocates for the migrants are concerned that the collection of the DNA will lead to broad surveillance of the people. According to CNN, the use of DNA to reunite families is unprecedented in this situation and advocates do not support the decision.

READ: Trump Administration Claims Babies Separated From Families Are Being Held In ‘Tender Age’ Shelters

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9 Inventions Made By Latinos That We Are #Blessed To Have

things that matter

9 Inventions Made By Latinos That We Are #Blessed To Have

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Latinos have helped make multiple contributions to the way we consume media and live healthy, productive lives. From pushing the frontier of television to helping women make choices about their bodies, these are the Latinos who helped create inventions for the good of all humankind.

1. The Birth Control Pill

The oral contraceptive pill has helped women around the world plan pregnancies on their terms, combat the effects of debilitating cramps or regulate periods to be shorter and lighter. It comes as no surprise then that the co-inventor of the pill, Mexican chemist Luis Miramontes, received multiple recognitions. One honor is being named alongside Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers as creating one of the 40 most important inventions between 1794-1964 by the U.S. Department of Patents.

2. Color TV

Another Mexican invention helped change the lives of millions of people thanks to Guillermo González Camarena. He invented the color-wheel type of color television. Episodes of El Chavo del 8 become instantly more vibrant—literally—all due to González Camarena’s tireless work in electrical engineering.

3. The Beautyblender

Contouring and blending got a huge makeover when Rea Ann Silva, a Latina makeup artist with over two decades in the industry, created a little colorful sponge applicator. Although the trademark teardrop was already in stores by 2003, the applicator didn’t start getting recognition until the last several years when beauty bloggers were showing the bright pink sponge all over YouTube.

4. The Neonatal Artificial Bubble

Premature babies have to receive extra care and attention when it comes to their first few months of life. Thankfully, Peruvian inventor Claudio Castillón Lévano helped make them feel as comfortable as possible with his invention. The neonatal artificial bubble has improved neonatal treatment of high-risk newborns, allowing for a “continuous and regulated air flow of filtered, oxygenated, tempered and humidified air to the newborn child,” according to its patent.

5. The Electric Brake

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Pump the brakes. Did you know a Mexican inventor is behind the invention that allows your car to stop instantly with a light tap of your foot? Mexican inventor and revolutionary Victor Ochoa patented the electric brake in 1907.

6. Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, a Guatemalan inventor, had already changed the way we access information. His company reCAPTCHA is one of the pioneers of crowdsourching. After figuring out a way to make sure you aren’t a robot by solving those annoying little puzzles, von Ahn moved on to help society learn multiple languages.

7. The Mondragón Rifle

A Mexican officer changed the course of modern warfare when he figured out a way for a gun to reload with manually ejecting the spent shell. The gun was first used in the Mexican Revolution and then became more prevalent in World War I.

8. The Artificial Heart

Housed in the Smithsonian Museum, the creation of Argentine inventor Dr Domingo Liotta is displayed to show the world the importance of this invention. Dr. Liotta is seen as a pioneer in heart surgery and bestowed the gift of the first totally artificial heart to be transplanted in a human being.

9. The Acceleglove

José Hernández-Rebollar is credited with making a special glove that helps translate sign language into speech. Hernández-Rebollar invented the Acceleglove, which used “sensors attached to the glove and the arm, this prototype device can currently translate the alphabet and over 300 words in American Sign Language (ASL) into both English and Spanish,” according to the Smithsonian.

READ: 20 Addictive Latino “Junk Food” Snacks That Are Totally Vegan

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