Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Today's NYTimes had a page 1 story about the use of DNA evidence in immigration cases. Immigration law provides for a certain degree of family reunification -- for example, a parent who is granted lawful permanent residence can usually petition for visas for their spouse and children. DNA testing can be useful in establishing parentage in some of these cases. But as Rachel Swarns' article illustrates, DNA evidence can also provide some surprising results that prevent fathers from reuniting with children they thought were their own. The story is here. The story highlights the vagaries of DNA evidence, but also should raise questions about how the parent-child relationship is defined for purposes of immigration law, which may value blood ties over meaningful relationships.