The Biden Administration has announced this week that immigrants who have pending applications for asylum or U visas can file petitions to bring their children to the United States. This adds onto an Obama-era policy where immigrants who had obtained green cards, TPS and other forms of legal status, and were eligible to file applications for the program on behalf of their children.
The Obama-era policy, which intended to discourage young people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador from making the dangerous journey across the southern border, was effectively shut down by President Trump in a wider to effort to curtail immigration. President Biden ordered the DHS to to revive the “Central American Minors” program shortly after entering office. Cases that had been shut since the Trump shut down started to be reopened in March of this year and Tuesday’s announcement increases the number of people eligible for the program by tens of thousands.
The number of unaccompanied minors entering through the US/Mexico border has hit unprecedented levels – with 14,000 children brought into custody in the last month alone.
What is the Central American Minors program?
The Central American Minors (CAM) program allows immigrant parents or guardians with legal status in the United States to petition for their children’s resettlement in the country.
How does the Central American Minors program work?
A parent or guardian who legally resides in the U.S. may be able to sponsor a minor to travel to the U.S. in order to aid family reunification.
The process sees the parent/guardian filing a petition through which their relationship with the child must be verified. The children are interviewed to determine whether or not they qualify for refugee status, and if not they may be granted humanitarian parole which allows them to stay in the U.S. on a temporary basis. This does temporary parole status does not currently offer any pathway to citizenship.
Who is eligible for CAM?
The minor must be unmarried, under the age of 21 and a national of Honduras, Guatemala or Honduras. The applicant must undergo a background check before being brought to the United States.
If you need assistance with a Central American Minors application, or indeed any refugee or asylum application, our attorneys have over 200+ years combined experience in complex immigration cases. Get in touch with our team today!
© Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC 2021. The above text is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.