Texas Members Intro Bill to Help ID Remains of Missing Migrants
There have been 368 recorded deaths of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border so far in 2018, according to the Missing Migrants Project. Texas Congressmen Vicente González (D-TX) and Will Hurd (R-TX) and Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) came together last week to introduce the Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act -- legislation that would help local jurisdictions improve the recording and reporting of missing persons and unidentified remains found. The bill would amend existing federal laws to expand grant funds for local law enforcement agencies, forensic laboratories, medical examiners offices, and nonprofit organizations that work to find, report, and identify migrants that die or go missing in the U.S. It would also require officials to submit annual reports of all unidentified remains discovered, including the cause and manner of death; their sex, age and country of origin; and where the remains were found. Additionally, if family members of missing migrants submit to the FBI’s national DNA database, the bill would ensure these DNA samples would not be used by federal or state law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes. “Our nation has a chance to put more resources into helping identify the remains of missing persons, and to bring closure to families who know not whether to grieve, or continue the search,” González said. Hurd added that the bill “mitigates the burdens placed on state and local governments to identify perished individuals with the dignity they deserve.” More here.