Biden administration restarting the Central American Minors program
The Departments of State and Homeland Security initiated the first phase of reinstituting a program that reunites qualified children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with their parents who are lawfully present in the United States.
The reopening of the Central American Minors program will provide another step in expanding legal pathways to enter the United States. According to a Wednesday news release from the U.S. Department of State.
The program had been axed by the previous administration in 2017.
“The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration is working closely with DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reopen the program in two phases,” the news release stated. “The first will process eligible applications that were closed when the program was terminated in 2017, and the second will begin to accept new applications with updated guidance to follow.”
The PRM and USCIS departments have already identified all suspended cases eligible for reopening and will coordinate with domestic resettlement agencies to contact eligible parents in order to verify that they are still lawfully present in the United States and wish to reopen their child’s case, according to the release.
“Once this verification has taken place, PRM will instruct its Resettlement Support Center based in El Salvador to contact the children and family members in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to begin case processing,” the release stated. “We anticipate that the first contacts with parents will begin as soon as the week of March 15.”
The CAM program provides an alternative to undocumented migration which the U.S. Department of state noted in their release the southern border remains closed to.
5,000 children have been reunited since the program began, the release stated.
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