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Biden and the Central American Minors Program

What is the program that the Biden administration is expanding for Central American minors (CAM)?

In 2014, the Obama administration started a program that allows minors with parents with legal status in the United States to request that their children receive a petition to move to the United States. Children have to be from Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras. The purpose of the program is to provide Central American children fleeing violence with a "safe, legal, and orderly alternative" to migrate to the United States. Through this program, the US government hopes to reduce the number of unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the United States illegally.

Program history

The CAM program granted refugee or parole status to more than 3,000 minors. Another 2,500 minors received this special status but were unable to travel to the United States before former President Donald Trump terminated the program in 2017. Earlier this year, President Biden reopened the program for previous applicants.

What is expansion and why is it important?

In March, the Biden administration restarted the program and has plans to expand it further. The expansion allows minors with legal guardians in the United States to qualify for the program. U-visa and asylum applicants who filed a petition before May 15 are also eligible. According to State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter, the expansion will offer tens of thousands of US residents the opportunity to apply for children's access to asylum programs.

How does the program work?

Parents with legal status in the US can apply for their children while their child is in their home country. CAM uses a process originally created for refugees in the US called “Affidavit of Relationship” (AOR). CAM conducted an AOR process for parents from Central American countries that have legal status so that their children can migrate to the US.

Parents may request the child or children of the qualifying child, another parent or guardian of the qualifying children, their own children under 21 and unmarried and from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, or their child who is an adult and / or you are married with your own child under the age of 21 and are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The CAM program has two avenues for immigrants who want to cross the border:

The refugee status path

  • Applicants must show that they meet the requirements for refugee status in the US.

  • Taking this path would give those qualified with financial assistance, a path to US citizenship, and also case management support.

The path to parole

  • You need a determination from the Department of Homeland Security that the child is "at risk of harm, clears all background checks, no serious derogatory information, and someone has agreed to financially support the individual while in the United States".

  • This address would only allow those qualified to have access to work authorization and admission to the US.

Mil Mujeres services

Mil Mujeres offers legal assistance to low-income individuals in the Latino community. If you are interested in learning more about CAM or your eligibility for a visa, please contact us. Email: Phone: (202) 808-3311

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