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Tue, Mar 17

DNA testing needed at border

The remains of yet another migrant were reported recently in Brooks County, Texas, a county bordering Mexico. That was the 17th dead body found in that county in the first two months of 2015. Sadly, that’s not really news. Hundreds of undocumented migrants are found dead along the southern U.S. border each year, and many are buried without identification. What is surprising is that most are from Central America – not Mexico.

Last year, more than 50,000 unaccompanied children from Central America crossed into the U.S. According to last week’s federal Government Accountability Office report, the children migrate north because of violence and economic concerns in their home countries and to reunify with family members already in the United States.

But the journey is treacherous, and some migrants don’t make it – hence the 400 dead bodies found along our border each year. When a migrant doesn’t survive, tracing an identity is not simple. Back home, the disappearance is a nightmare for families who have no idea whether their loved one is alive or dead. The Colibrí Center for Human Rights reports that relatives of missing migrants contact dozens of agencies in hopes of finding family members, often at great cost.

Read more from Science & Society’s Sara Katsanis writing in the News & Observer.