Last month, the fourth straight record-breaking month for U.S. Border Patrol, the agency apprehended over 80,000 members of “family units” crossing the southwest border with Mexico.

The patrol officers were highly skeptical of many of these familial claims, so in late April, the Department of Homeland Security started a pilot program to implement rapid DNA testing to check on the legitimacy of family claims.

“This is part of a larger investigative process. This is not screenings, this is not just random application of this, this is a pilot designed to assess the usefulness of this technology in an investigative process,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Deputy Director Derek Benner told CNN in a statement.

The program is meant to cut down on migrant groups posing as family units, CNN noted.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) now seeks ways to expand the Rapid DNA testing to seven border locations.  The enhanced program is has been tagged “Operation Double Helix 2.0.”

ICE posted a synopsis of the project on Tuesday that said it will “aid in the identification of fraudulent familial relationship claims made by individuals entering or attempting to enter the United States.”

“The utilization of a Rapid DNA testing program will assist [Homeland Security Investigations] HSI Special Agents with identifying and investigating those who continue to commit these types of criminal acts in direct violation of U.S. law,” the synopsis said.

Rapid DNA testing can be accomplished in under two hours and is now being implemented to solve criminal cases. For example, it was recently used in the case of missing 5-year-old Lizzy Shelley to force a confession from the uncle who had murdered the child.

Where traditional DNA testing can take days or even months, Rapid DNA takes about 90 minutes. Because prosecutors had strong evidence, police were able to charge Alex Whipple even before finding Lizzy’s body, then trade a life-sentence for Whipple’s confession and her location.

Mutter said, “If they didn’t receive the answers as quick as they did, I believe Lizzy would not be recovered yet.”

The implementation at the border is already achieving results.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in an interview with Hill.TV that 24 cases of false parental claims had been found at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first few days of DNA testing.

. . . . “One of the things we’re most concerned about is the increasing incidence of adults bringing across children that are not their own. I had a gentlemen in Guatemala last week tell me that everybody knows that bringing a child is a passport for migration right now,” McAleenan said.

McAleenan said that in the first few days of a program to conduct DNA tests the department identified “24 people that were fraudulently claiming to be parents of a child they were crossing with.”

“How many more cases are out there,” the DHS chief added.

McAleenan also noted that in the first 4 weeks his team has also identified 180 cases of false paternal claims under different identification methods, 360 fraudulent documents, and over 300 prosecutions of people purporting to be parents.

The results may be even more impressive if the real numbers are revealed.

In a pilot program, approximately 30% of rapid DNA tests of immigrant adults who were suspected of arriving at the southern border with children who weren’t theirs revealed the adults were not related to the children, an official involved in the system’s temporary rollout who asked to be anonymous in order to speak freely told the Washington Examiner Friday.

. . . . In some incidents where Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the adults they would have to take a cheek swab to verify a relationship with a minor, several admitted the child was not related and did not take the DNA test, which was designed by a U.S. company.

Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s editorial in the Arizona Capitol Times praised the Trump administration’s foresight and initiative in setting-up Operation Double Helix.

By now, it should be clear that the objections to testing purported family units were utterly disingenuous. Our system affords special treatment to family units, and open-borders advocates have applauded the exploitation of those loopholes as a way of circumventing legal restrictions on immigration.

. . . . Family units, as coyotes and their liberal enablers in the U.S. have learned, are much more difficult for our law enforcement professionals to handle than the single adults who used to make up the vast majority of illegal immigrants. The unprecedented explosion in apprehensions of “family units” – many of them now clearly exposed as fake – has stretched our border security resources to the breaking point.

DNA testing is a simple, unobtrusive, and inexpensive tool that makes it more difficult for criminals to exploit vulnerable children, removing a major incentive for human traffickers. We ought to implement it across the entire border, and do so as quickly as possible. In an area of public policy fraught with controversy and polarization, this should be a rare no-brainer.