STATEMENT – USCRI Opposes End to Central American Minors Refugee Program
For Immediate Release:
November 9, 2017
ARLINGTON, VA –
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) expressed opposition to the Administration’s decision to end the refugee program for Central American minors with parents in the United States. “The Central American Minors (CAM) refugee program helped protect children facing persecution and who met the refugee definition under U.S. law,” said USCRI Acting Chief Executive Officer Eskinder Negash. “With the decision to end the CAM refugee program, the Administration is undercutting a legal lifeline for children who face violence, rape, and even death at the hands of criminal gangs,” he said. Negash urged the Administration to continue to process all applications for the CAM refugee program that were submitted to USCIS prior to the end of the program including continuing interviews, admissions of approved cases and requests for review on an expedited basis. “We made a promise to try to protect these children and it’s only fair for us to honor that promise by processing those who have applied,” said Negash.
The Central America Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole programs, announced by the U.S. State Department in 2014, helped families stay together, staying true to our American values. USCRI proposed in-country refugee processing as part of Six Solutions in the summer of 2014. In 2015, USCRI submitted a statement to Congress in support of the CAM Refugee/Parole program. The Administration ended the CAM Parole program in August 2017. The CAM Refugee/Parole programs provided some children a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to embarking on the dangerous journey to the U.S. and preventing them from becoming victims of human smugglers and trafficking operations.