According to recent reporting from the Los Angeles Times, the United States government is set to expand the refugee program for Central American minors. This expansion is welcomed news for many families who are currently in desperate need of assistance. The Central American Minors (CAM) Program provides immigration opportunities for children, and spouses, of documented American residents in three Central American countries. The countries, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, are tall facing especially high rates of violence and poverty. This program is particularly important for families in the Los Angeles area, as many immigrants in our region have family members in the affected areas. For additional information about the Central American Minors Program, or for assistance in submitting an application, please contact an experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding the Central American Minors (CAM) Program
In 2014, there was a surge of young migrants seeking safety in the United States. Many of the young people risked their lives crossing dangerous parts of Central America and Mexico in order to seek a better life. In response the Obama Administration instituted the CAM program. The goal of the program was to provide an alternative, safer, method for some of these young people to escape desperate situations. Parents who have children living in the affected countries, and who also have documented status in the United States, may be able to use the program to bring their children and spouse to America.
Central American Minors Program: Who is Eligible?
In order to take advantage of the CAM Program, children must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- They must be under the age of 21;
- They must not be married:
- They must be a national of either El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras;
- They must be living within their home country; and
- They must have a parent who qualifies under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
As was mentioned, in order to qualify, a parent must have documented status in the United States. In addition to bringing their child, a qualifying parent may also bring their spouse. A spouse may be able to qualify if they can establish that their marriage is lawful and that they live in the same economic unit as their child. Review and screening typically occurs within Central America, and eligible children and spouses may be admitted into the United States as refugee or with temporary legal status known as humanitarian parole.
You Must Apply As Soon As Possible
Unfortunately, while this program provides critical help for families in need, some bureaucratic problems have arisen. Essentially, it is taking much longer than was initially anticipated to actually get qualifying children and spouses into the United States. If your family can benefit from this program, the best thing you can do is to get your application in order as soon as possible.
Work With a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney Today
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, we have extensive experience assisting immigrants in Los Angeles with a wide variety of issues. Our team can help you with any issues you have related to the Central American Minors Program. Please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles office today for immediate legal assistance.