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DNA testing for immigration and family reunification?

During the past decade, immigrants accounted for 47% of the increase in the US workforce and 70% in Europe. Family reunification is one of the main forms of immigration in many countries. However, in recent times, immigration has become increasingly regulated with many countries encouraging stricter vetting measures. In this climate, countries’ laws and policies applicable to family reunification seek a balance between an individual’s right to a family life and a country’s right to control the influx of immigrants. The use of DNA testing (using blood samples or buccal swabs collected from the sponsor and each of the applicants) has been included in the family reunifications processes to help confirm a biological link between the sponsor and the applicants in at least 21 countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the USA. As numerous jurisdictions use DNA testing in their family reunification processes, can the use of DNA testing help achieve a better balance between promoting family reunification and enabling better control of the immigration demands?

On the one hand, given that the test results are considered very accurate, reliable, and scientifically valid, the use of this test has been deemed to have a number of benefits. It is viewed as helpful for immigrants whose birth or baptismal certificates are unavailable, non-existent, or unreliable. It is deemed to add neutrality to the migratory process, as the decision becomes less discretionary than if it solely depended on the immigration officer’s interpretation of the supportive documentation. It is also considered to make the process more efficient, faster, and cheaper, because the results can be self-explanatory. Therefore, it is not necessary for immigrants to hire lawyers or for the government to train its immigration officers to be able to properly interpret the supporting evidence or to interview the potential immigrants or for either of them…

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