The border agency gave its approval to theTexas’ Rio Grande Valley region on a case-to-case basis where trafficking is suspected, expanding a previous policy which allowed agents to photograph and collect personal information from children aged 14 and under.
"Right now, we are still faced with overwhelming numbers. Every tool that we can get is going to be helpful for us," said the senior official, adding that it will help police “counter fraud.”
However, for years, Customs and Border authorities have been reluctant to incorporate the security feature. The majority of algorithms rely on “solidified” fingerprints, which generally occurs after the age of 14, a former Department of Homeland Security official who worked on biometrics told CNN.
Reports show that some 600 “fraudulent” families have been discovered crossing the U.S.- Mexico border since January, although the term is used liberally. agent Jose J. Garibay III, who works in the Yuma Border Patrol, explained that a fraudulent family may be composed of non-immediate family members and not that a group is necessarily attempting to traffic a child.
Over the past months, the U.S.'s questionable abilities in caring for migrant minors have lead to the death, disappearance, and deportation of thousands of Central American children.