The U.S. Senate has passed a bill co-authored by Texas Senator John Cornyn that aims to improve the process of identifying migrants who’ve died in their attempts to cross the border.
The Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Act authorizes grants to local governments to cover the costs of identifying the remains of migrants found in regions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The funding can be used to hire DNA technicians and forensic specialists, and to purchase state-of-the-art forensic equipment, to assist the identification effort. The money also helps pay for processing and reporting the deaths for entry into a national database.
In addition, the legislation allows for the purchase of up to 170 9-1-1 cellular relay beacons to help locate lost migrants. Cornyn co-sponsored the bipartisan bill with California Senator Kamala Harris.