Sunday, August 20, 2017

Trump Guts Obama’s Program for Central American Kids

The White House is now cutting out part of the Central American Minors (CAM) program that the Obama administration set up in 2014 to admit some underage refugees fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

We wrote two years ago that the CAM program seemed to be less about saving kids than “about giving the impression that the U.S. government is finally addressing the root causes of immigration—causes which to a large extent are the result of past and present U.S. policies.” In fact, as of earlier this year, the program had only led to the admission of some 2,400 refugees and parolees, with about 2,700 others granted conditional parole but still waiting to come to the U.S. But the program has at least saved some children from danger, and now Trump is eliminating the parole option, leaving the conditional parolees stranded in Central America.

Presumably this will gratify the rightwing politicians and journalists who targeted the CAM program back in 2015. Then-senator Jeff Sessions claimed the program had “created a dangerous situation" and the fact-challenged Daily Caller warned about “potentially millions of current and former illegal immigrants” bringing their children into the country.—TPOI editor

Jeff Sessions' "dangerous situation."  Photo: Jennifer Whitney/NY Times                     
Program allowing some minors from Central America into U.S. halted

By Greg Moran, San Diego Union Tribune
August 15, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it plans to shut down a program that offered some children and young adults from three Central Amercian countries a chance to lawfully immigrate to the U.S. to join their parents.

The decision will close down a portion of the Central American Minors program, established in 2014 under President Obama as a way to slow the stream of minors from strife-torn Central American countries.

The program allows unmarried youths under 21 years old from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who had one parent who had lawful status in the U.S. to apply for refugee status, from their home country.

If the refugee status was denied. they could still be allowed into the U.S. under humanitarian parole, a way to legally be in the country that is not permanent but must be renewed periodically.

In an announcement to be published in the Federal Register today DHS said that it was terminating the humanitarian parole part of the CAM program.[…]

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