Joint Statement by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the Expansion of Access to the Central American Minors Program
The following joint statement was released by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration have been making progress toward reinstituting and improving the Central American Minors (CAM) program since our agencies launched the first phase of its reopening on March 10. As part of this focus on a responsible, phased approach, we continue to reopen cases that were closed when CAM was terminated in 2018. This is just one component of the President’s multi-pronged approach to address the challenges of irregular migration throughout North and Central America.
Today, we are proud to announce the second phase of the CAM reopening, which will expand access to the program to a greater number of qualifying individuals. Eligibility to petition will now be extended to include legal guardians (in addition to parents) who are in the United States pursuant to any of the following qualifying categories: lawful permanent residence; temporary protected status; parole; deferred action; deferred enforced departure; or withholding of removal. In addition, this expansion of eligibility will now include certain U.S.-based parents or legal guardians who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021. It will allow them to petition for access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program on behalf of their children who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras for potential resettlement in the United States. These new changes will dramatically expand access to the CAM program.
We are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, as well as providing a legal alternative to irregular migration. We are delivering on our promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.