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Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, listens during a House committee on Homeland Security hearing addressing threats to election security at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

Former U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores wants mandatory DNA testing of all immigrants and favors a return of the much-denounced policy of separating children from their parents at the border.

The Donald Trump administration utilized both practices and likely would resume them if he is elected in November; Trump has said he plans to resurrect all of his previous immigration policies and impose new ones that would be more severe, including “the largest domestic deportation operation in America’s history.”

Flores, who is running to regain the congressional seat she lost in 2022, defends those policies, although family separation has roundly been denounced as inhumane. Some of the children were mere infants. Worse, many of those children have not been reunited with their parents half a decade later.

Until recently, our stated immigration policy was to keep families together. Federal law prohibits keeping immigrant children in detention for more than 20 days. The Trump administration bypassed that law by reclassifying separated children as unaccompanied minors in order to detain them indefinitely.

Obviously the law was violated in spirit and it doesn’t seem to matter to Flores, who seeks to return to Congress to enact such laws. In fact, Republican lawmakers have filed legislation that would mandate genetic testing of immigrants. Our own Sen. Ted Cruz submitted the bill in that chamber.

“I don’t care if these children are with us for months,” she said at a February gathering of the conservative youth group Turning Point USA in Brownsville.

Flores said longer child detentions might be necessary to allow time for the DNA testing, which she says is needed to verify that the children in fact are related to the people who brought them.

Genetic testing shouldn’t be needed for such evaluations; it shouldn’t be hard to see a difference in a child’s comportment with a parent or guardian as opposed to a total stranger.

It’s also obvious that any DNA testing that was done in the past didn’t work. Thousands of families remain separated and might never be reunited; records of those tests and related detentions — if kept at all — were so shoddy that officials continue looking for detained children’s parents and can’t find them.

Moreover, laboratories across the country that would perform such tests would have difficulty handling the burden — not to mention the expense. Labs currently are so backlogged with forensic testing that criminal cases are being delayed while they wait for evidence.

Widespread testing during the Trump term was slowed down further because the demand for the tests outpaced the supply. Trump and his supporters constantly throw out the term “family values” in their campaigns. Shredding families, regardless of their nationality or legal status, obviously clashes.

Keeping migrant families together isn’t just the right thing to do, it seems the most practical and efficient. Processing them together should speed up the process and ensure that they receive visas together if they qualify, or are deported together if they don’t.

Republicans’ penchant for punitive measures increasingly is defying not only practicality, but morality.