The U.S. government began accepting new applications for a program that allows some U.S.-based parents to legally bring their children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador on September 14, 2021. The revival of the Central American Minors (CAM) initiative was announced by the Biden Administration in June. The CAM program is part of the administration’s efforts toward family reunification and solving the Souther border crisis.
The government has expanded eligibility for the CAM program, allowing parents to petition for their children if they have pending applications for:
• Asylum or U visas, which are reserved for victims of serious crimes
• Green Card holders
• Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries
Other parents with temporary legal status in the U.S. can also apply to bring their children to the U.S.
Administration officials said tens of thousands of parents could be eligible to apply for the revamped program. The administration
“Strengthening collaborative migration management, which includes creating legal pathways, including CAM, is one of the pillars of the president’s blueprint for a fair, orderly and humane immigration system.”
The Central American Minors program was first initiated during the Obama administration due to the large numbers of unaccompanied minor children entering at the fleeing violence in Central America and have family in the U.S. In 2017, then President Trump terminated the program.
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