News & Resources

Government and Central American Families Reach Historic Settlement, Paving the Way for Children to Reunite With Parents in the U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

April 12, 2019

PRESS CONTACT

Henrike Dessaules, IRAP, hdessaules@refugeerights.org, 516-838-1269

Nicole Houston, Arnold & Porter, Nicole.Houston@arnoldporter.com, 202-942-6418

GOVERNMENT AND CENTRAL AMERICAN FAMILIES REACH HISTORIC SETTLEMENT, PAVING THE WAY FOR CHILDREN TO REUNITE WITH PARENTS IN THE U.S.

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) – Today, the government and plaintiffs in S.A. v. Trump, the lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s termination of the Central American Minors Parole program, agreed on a historic settlement that may allow approximately 2,700 children living in dangerous conditions in Central America to safely reunite with their parents in the U.S. The settlement requires the government to finish processing all applicants who were in final stages of their applications when the government suddenly terminated the CAM Parole program. The government anticipates most applicants will be approved for parole and allowed to travel to the U.S.   

The settlement followed a March 1 court order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler ordering the government to resume processing for the children, who had already been conditionally approved by the government to reunite with their parents in the United States, only to see their status revoked when the Trump Administration shut down the program in August 2017. In an earlier order in December 2018, Judge Beeler found that the government’s mass revocation of conditional parole approvals from CAM applicants was unlawful.

Under the terms of the settlement, the government will provide individualized notice to the qualifying applicants.

S.A. v. Trump was brought by 12 children and parent applicants to the CAM parole program, as well as the community organization CASA. The plaintiffs are represented by the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) and the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, LLP.

In response to the ruling, plaintiff and counsel issued the following statements:

S.A., Individual Plaintiff: “I am so happy at the news that the government will allow eligible children to come to the U.S. to fulfill their dreams of a better life without danger and fear, where they can study and try to have a better future. My heart jumps and cries for joy because there are so many who need to escape danger. I have faith that I will be together with my daughter and grandson soon.”

Linda Evarts, Litigation Staff Attorney, IRAP: “We are so pleased that after many years apart our clients will finally have the opportunity to reunite with each other in safety. These families belong together here in the United States, and we are hopeful this settlement will allow for their swift reunification.”

Daniel Asimow, Partner, Arnold & Porter:  “We are delighted to be able to announce this settlement, which will make permanent the preliminary injunction entered by Judge Beeler requiring the Government to restore conditional grants of parole under the CAM program and expedite the reunification of our clients and approximately 2,700 other children and family members with their parents in the United States..”

The text of the settlement can be found here.

To view the press release, click here.

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