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U.S. District Court in Texas Allows Affected Families to Defend the Central American Minors (CAM) Program


May 27, 2022


Spencer Tilger | | (646) 761-2556


IRAP Represents Two Families Eligible for CAM; Seeks to Uphold Pathway for Safe Reunification of Families

(Amarillo, TX) – Yesterday, a federal court in Texas granted, in part, the intervention motion filed in March by the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) on behalf of several families hoping to reunite via the Central American Minors (CAM) Program. The ruling means that the court will allow two of the families to defend the CAM Program against the legal challenge filed by 15 states attempting to shut down the program.

The case, Texas v. Biden, was filed in federal court at the end of January 2022. The two affected parents represented by IRAP will join the lawsuit as defendants. Each of the parents seeks to reunite with their children who are in danger in Central America.

“We are pleased that the court has granted these parents the opportunity to be heard and to advocate in support of this crucial family reunification pathway,” said Linda Evarts, Senior Supervising Attorney at IRAP. “Our clients have young children in danger in Central America who they want to bring to the United States to live with them in safety. For both of these parents, defending CAM means defending their opportunity to be safely reunited as a family.”


Since 2014, the CAM Program has enabled thousands of children to escape life-threatening danger and reunite safely with their parents in the United States. Under CAM, all vetting and screening of applicants is done in Central America, and when children and other family members are approved to travel to the U.S., they do so safely by plane, rather than through a dangerous land journey to the border. After the Trump administration previously terminated CAM, the Biden administration reopened the program and expanded it to new applicants. Now, 15 states led by Texas are attempting yet again to eliminate one of the only pathways for migrant children from Central America to reunite with their families.

IRAP previously represented several families and the organization CASA de Maryland in a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s 2017 termination of the CAM Program. IRAP’s clients entered into a settlement with the government that reopened CAM processing for thousands of families. The government is still processing CAM applicants under that settlement, and IRAP is continuing to fight to protect this important pathway to safety.

Additional Resources

  • Read the court order granting the intervention: HERE
  • Read IRAP’s initial filing: HERE
  • Read about IRAP’s previous lawsuit defending CAM: HERE
  • Families who may be eligible for CAM can learn more about the program: HERE