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Rounds, Blackburn Introduce Legislation to Allow Fingerprinting of Migrant Minors to Combat Trafficking, Child Recycling

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and 16 of their Senate Republican colleagues introduced the Preventing the Recycling of Immigrants is Necessary for Trafficking Suspension (PRINTS) Act. This legislation would aim to combat trafficking and child recycling by giving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to fingerprint non-citizens under the age of 14.

“There is a humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border,” said Rounds. “Those wishing to do us harm are taking advantage of the Biden administration’s weak policies, some of them going so far as to use children to cross the border illegally. This is wrong. I’m pleased to cosponsor this legislation that would help border patrol agents identify these children, stop child recycling and further secure our southern border.”

“Under President Biden’s open border policies, we are witnessing a devastating humanitarian crisis, and children are the primary victims,” said Blackburn. “Abusing and using a child again and again is one of the most heinous acts imaginable, and yet it happens every day along the southern border. Empowering border patrol agents to fingerprint non-citizens under the age of 14 would give them the tools they need to identify victims of child recycling and stop this abuse in its tracks. Given that the Biden administration just carelessly lost track of 85,000 migrant children, passing this legislation could not be more critical.”

In 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified 600 children who were “recycled,” with one child being brought across the border as many as eight different times. Despite these statistics, current U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation and federal law prohibit Border Patrol Agents from fingerprinting children under the age of 14.

Specifically, the PRINTS Act would:

  • Give CBP the authority to fingerprint non-citizens under the age of 14 in order to combat trafficking and child recycling;
  • Require DHS to publicly report the number of apprehensions in a given month involving child traffickers who falsely claimed that an accompanying child was a relative;
  • Require DHS to submit an annual report to Congress identifying the number of minors who were fingerprinted pursuant to this Act;
  • Remove the Attorney General’s authority to waive fingerprinting requirements for those illegally crossing the southern border; and
  • Criminalize child recycling.

In addition to Rounds and Blackburn, this legislation was introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).

Click HERE for full bill text.