News & Resources

Press Release: IRAP Welcomes Expansion of Program That Helps Reunite Central American Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     

June 15, 2021


Henrike Dessaules


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Biden Administration announced an expansion of the Central American Minors (CAM) program, which provides legal pathways for children in danger in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to safely reunite with a parent in the United States.

The Administration now intends to allow certain legal guardians and parents with pending asylum applications and U visa applications to petition for access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program on behalf of their children for potential resettlement in the United States. With this change, a broader pool of people will become eligible to apply for reunification with their children. 

“The expansion of the program is positive news for families who have been separated for far too long,” said Sunil Varghese, Policy Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). “We hope this expansion is carried out in a robust manner such that the CAM program provides a viable option for children considering the difficult journey to the U.S. We look forward to seeing concrete steps being taken to carry out today’s promising announcement.”

In 2017, then-President Trump had terminated the CAM parole program. IRAP challenged the termination in court and won a settlement in 2019 that allows nearly 2,700 children at the final stages of their application to complete processing. President Biden then reinstated the program in his first 100 days in office. 

IRAP welcomes this move by the Administration to put in place a robust and improved program that protects children’s safety and maintains family unity.

To view the press release, click here.