Program Offering Pathway to Legal Status in US Ends
WESLACO – The Central American Minors Parole Program, also known as the CAM Program, was rescinded last month.
The program offered parole for Central American minors who were denied refugee status.
It's a program used by Central American parents, lawfully present in America, to get their children in their home country to safety.
It provided a safe route to the United States, so their child would not have to make the dangerous trek to the dream land.
"I was fleeing the insecurities of my country, the threats of my life and that of my family," said Jorge Jimenez, a Honduras immigrant. "We received death threats in the town that we live in because I witnessed a murder."
Jorge Jimenez said he crossed the Rio Grande River not knowing what to expect.
"I was a little scared because of the river," said Jimenez.
Along the way he came face-to-face with dangerous people.
"They tried to kidnap us. If we didn't give them money, we have them whatever we had and nothing more," Jimenez said.
Jimenez said he fears for the family he left behind. His hope for them dwindles with each passing day, especially now that the path to safety for his children is gone.
"Effective immediately USCIS will no longer consider our offer parole under the CAM Parole Program," Arwin Fitzgerald, spokesperson with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told CHANNEL 5 NEWS over the phone.
Fitzgerald says the programs dismissal is part of the presidents executive order on border security and immigration enforcement improvements. Children already approved for the program or now being sent notices.
"Conditionally approved applicants under parole for the CAM program without travel arrangements to the United States is going to be sent notices of the programs termination and that they are not receiving parole under the program," Fitzgerald said.
"We suffered a bit, well a lot, a bit hard," said Jimenez.
Jimenez is now praying his family will find a way to stay safe.
USCIS said there is a one other option for Central American minors seeking refuge. Submit an application for travel document, or a i-131 form.
The form can be found on the USCIS website.
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