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Advocates want DNA tests on dead Texas illegal immigrants

Published On: Feb 21 2013 12:37:30 PM CST

FALFURRIAS, Texas (AP) -

Civil rights advocates are asking a South Texas county to do more to identify suspected illegal immigrants who have died on sprawling ranchlands.
    
The Texas Civil Rights Project and other groups Wednesday delivered a letter to Brooks County officials asking that DNA samples be taken from all unidentified remains.
    
Brooks County is home to a rural Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias. Some illegal immigrants with little water during hot weather have died in the brush trying to avoid the checkpoint.
    
Authorities found 129 bodies in the county last year. More than a third haven't been identified.
    
Brooks County officials have said they'd like to do more but don't have the money. Advocates say the University of North Texas will do the DNA testing without charge under a federal grant.