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Spain To Order DNA Tests For Undocumented Children In Melilla

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Red Cross workers play with an immigrant child in Tarifa, southern Spain Monday Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Ragel)
Red Cross workers play with an immigrant child in Tarifa, southern Spain Monday Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Ragel)

MADRID -- Spain plans to take DNA samples from illegal immigrant children arriving in the country's North African enclave of Melilla to make sure the adults accompanying them are their parents.

Authorities suspect many North African immigrants seeking Spanish residency claim children are theirs because families have a better chance of success and they live in better conditions while waiting.

Melilla Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irene Flores said Thursday officials are waiting for judicial approval before enacting the DNA testing plan.

Children who are not with their parents would be put under the care of the Spanish state.

Melilla is a small city surrounded by Morocco. Its immigration center currently houses 101 children.

Flores says she's unaware of other countries requiring DNA testing for immigrant children.

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