Border authorities have identified more than 1,000 “fake families” over the past seven months featuring adults trying to use children who aren’t their own to sneak into the U.S. Homeland Security officials revealed the number Wednesday as they announced a pilot program to begin using DNA testing to match children and the adults trying to sneak across the U.S.-Mexico boundary with them. “It’s definitely an escalating trend that we’re seeing,” one department official said of the fraudulent families. As the border spirals further out of control, President Trump sent Congress a request Wednesday for an emergency $4.5 billion infusion this year, warning that without the money the federal Health and Human Services Department will run out of cash to care for unaccompanied migrant children. HHS officials also acknowledged that a 16-year-old unaccompanied boy died in the custody of one of its contract shelters. The boy, who wasn’t identified beyond being Guatemalan, was arrested last month and sent to HHS on April 20 with no health complaints. The next morning, he became ill and had stints in and out of the hospital before being admitted finally on April 22. He remained in intensive care until he died Tuesday.
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