The Biden administration announced on June 15 that it is expanding the Central American Minors program (CAM), designed to let more children and teenagers from Central America legally enter the United States to join their parents and family members already in the US. This expansion makes more children living apart from their parent or guardian eligible to participate in the CAM program and board flights to America.
“We are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, as well as providing a legal alternative to irregular migration. We are delivering on our promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.”
– Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
The Central American Minors program was started by President Obama in 2014 for minors under the age of 21 from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. President Trump ended the CAM program in 2017, then reinstated by President Biden in March.
The original CAM program allowed parents in the U.S. to petition to be reunited with their children who were still in their home countries. The expansion of the program will:
• “include legal guardians (in addition to parents)” so long as they meet the qualifications, such as having legal permanent residency or temporary protected status”
• include U.S.-based parents and legal guardians “who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021.”
The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) eligibility requirement to participate in the CAM program:
The qualifying parent was any individual who, at the time of application, was at least 18 years old and lawfully present in the United States in one of the following categories:
• Permanent Resident Status,
• Temporary Protected Status,
• Deferred Action,
• Deferred Enforced Departure, or
• Withholding of Removal.
The qualifying child in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, at the time of application must have been:
• The child (genetic, step or legally adopted) of the qualifying parent
• Under the age of 21, and
• A national of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras.
Immigration attorney Mario Godoy and the Godoy Law Firm can assist you in applying for CAM benefits for your minor child and other eligible family members. To schedule an appointment to discuss your situation, contact Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322.
AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties