Friday, October 27, 2006

Immigrant DNA Testing a Mixed Bag

DNA testing has emerged as a powerful and sometimes controversial tool for U.S. residents seeking to help overseas relatives enter the country legally.

The tests have been invaluable for thousands of citizens or permanent residents who want to sponsor relatives but lack birth certificates or other documents to prove the family relationship. But some immigration lawyers worry that U.S. authorities are increasingly requiring DNA tests even when the paperwork is in order -- adding substantial costs and delays to an arduous process. "What's troubling is that it seems like the availability of DNA testing is leading to a greater level of mistrust of identity documents that otherwise would have been readily accepted," said Alison Brown, a lawyer based in Silver Spring. Click here.


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