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Department of State and Department of Homeland Security Expand Central American Minors Program

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Department of State and Department of Homeland Security Expand Central American Minors Program

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On June 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement expanding access to the Central American Minors Program (“CAM Program”).

The CAM Program was initially established in 2014 to reunite children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with their parents or legal guardians in the United States. The children would be granted refugee status or temporary parole into the United States. In order to be eligible for the program, the U.S.-based parent or guardian would need either Permanent Resident Status or some form of temporary protection from removal, such as Temporary Protected Status, withholding of removal, or parole.

In August 2017, the Trump administration terminated the CAM Program and the Department of State ceased accepting new applications. Following litigation on the unlawful termination, an injunction was ordered and USCIS continued processing previously submitted CAM Program cases.

On March 10, 2021, the Biden administration announced that the official reimplementation of the CAM program. The first phase of this restart focused on previous applicants who had their applications wrongfully terminated in 2017.

The announcement on June 15, 2021 declared the beginning of the second phase of the CAM Program reopening, allowing for the submission of new applications.  Alongside the start of this second phase, the announcement expanded the eligibility of parents or guardian to include those who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021.

With this expansion, the CAM Program can now help many more children who have been forced apart from their family. If you believe you and your child may be eligible for this program, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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