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CAM New Program for Central American Children

Last summer, thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America came to the United States. Some were fleeing gang violence and some wanted to join a parent who had already come to the United States – many came for both.

To try and discourage children from making the dangerous journey from Central America to the United States, USCIS created the Central American Minor (CAM) program. It allows children of certain Central Americans to apply to legally come to the United States.

The program is open to unmarried children who are under the age of 21 and are from Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras.

The parent in the United States must have some type of status: be it deferred actionTPS, withholding of removal, or other types of status.

There is one additional qualification for parents granted deferred action (and those anticipating relief under DAPA): The grant has to have been in place for at least one year before applying for your children to benefit from this program.

If granted, the child will receive refugee status or parole, and be allowed to enter the United States

In some instances, if one parent has remained in the Central American country and is married to the parent who now lives in the United States, they can also apply to come to the United States.

USCIS doesn’t believe many people will apply for CAM, but I hope they are wrong. As more parents from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras gain status and learn about CAM, I believe that many children will be able to safely come to the United States to be reunited with a parent.

– Tracie