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DHS terminates Central American Minors (CAM) Parole Program

  1. Date Announced

    Aug. 16, 2017

    By terminating this program, DHS will no longer provide special parole consideration for certain children who are denied refugee status in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Individuals who previously received parole under the program will maintain their status until it expires. The termination of the CAM Parole Program does not affect the CAM Refugee Program. [ID#18]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Aug. 16, 2017
  3. Subsequent Action

    March 4, 2019

    A settlement agreement reached in S.A. v. Trump (N.D. Cal.), Case No. 3:18-cv-03539, will result in parole of 2,700 minors pre-approved for parole before the CAM program was terminated.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Court orders administration to continue processing applications under this program
  4. Biden Administration Action

    March 10, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On March 10, 2021, the State Department announced plans to reopen the Central American Minors program, pursuant to an EO from President Biden last month directing as much. The department said that its Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, in coordination with USCIS, would begin reaching out next week to parents who had open applications in 2017 when the Trump administration shut the program down. There is no specific timeline as yet for accepting new applications.

    2021.03.10 Restarting the Central American Minors Program
Type of Action: Program Termination
Subject Matter: Minors

Prior Policies

  • The CAM program was established in 2014 to provide certain minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras the opportunity, while still in their home countries, to be considered for refugee resettlement in the United States. Individuals who were determined to be ineligible for refugee status would then be considered for the possibility of entering the United States under parole. In July 2016, the CAM program was expanded to include the sons and daughters of a U.S.-based lawfully-present parent who are over 21 years old; the in-country biological parent of the qualified children; and caregivers of qualified children who are also related to the U.S.-based lawfully present parents.

    2017.07.26 U.S. Expands Initiatives to Address Central American Migration Challenges

Subsequent Action

Biden Administration Action

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