Republican Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna criticized an immigration expert testifying before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday over whether children are trafficked into the U.S. by people falsely claiming to be their parents.
Paulina Luna played a video showing a man who had crossed the border illegally with two children, saying his wife abandoned them while questioning David Bier, associate director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute.
A federal pilot program previously found that 16 out of 84 families were “fraudulent,” while a separate program reported that 79 out of 522 migrant families were fraudulent.
Bier testified as part of a hearing titled “The Biden Administration’s Regulatory and Policymaking Efforts to Undermine U.S. Immigration Law.”
“You talk about intentional trauma and that the Trump administration caused intentional trauma by separating these children from their quote-unquote parents. The fact is that one, you don’t know these people? Why are you laughing? Mr. Bier, why are you laughing?” Paulina Luna asked while emphasizing her concern for the trafficking of migrant children.
“Cause you said ‘quote unquote parents as if they weren’t really their parents,” Bier responded.
Border Patrol has a contract for rapid DNA testing of families, which it utilizes when fraud is suspected, federal officials said in recent emails obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
A federal judge recently ruled against the use of the practice of separating families that cross the border as part of a lawsuit involving the Trump administration’s policy.
“It stopped people from coming by the hundreds of thousands because when they hear family separation, they say, well, we better not go. And they didn’t go,” former President Donald Trump recently said of the policy, noting it was also utilized by the Obama administration.
Paulina Luna said he has “no idea” whether or not the parents were related to the children, noting an underground child trafficking network in the agriculture industry in the U.S., while Bier said he does know that the families aren’t fraudulent.
“Really, are you psychic? Have you won the lotto, Mr. Bier, I don’t think you have,” she said.