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CAM Program for Children in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with Parents Lawfully Present in the United States
Edwin M. Hernández García, Esq.
Christophe Law Group, P.C.

To prevent children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, who have parents lawfully present in the U.S., from coming through the dangerous United States border with Mexico, the U.S. Government has established an in-country refuge parole program. 

This program would allow U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident parents of children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to request that their children be given access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.  Children who are not eligible for refugee admission but who are at risk of harm in these countries will be considered for parole on a case by case basis. 

Applications will be initiated in the U.S., but all interviews will be conducted in El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras

U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident parents will initiate their applications in the United States.  Parents will be able to file a request with the U.S. Department of State for a refugee interview for their unmarried children under 21 in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. 

The request must be filed with the assistance of a designated resettlement agency that works with the U.S. Department of State to help resettle refugees in the United States.  After the request is filed, the child will be invited to participate in pre-screening interviews in the country of origin to prepare them for a refugee interview with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Before the child is interviewed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DNA testing will be required to confirm the biological relationship between the parent in the United States and the in-country child. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will interview each child to determine if the child is eligible for refugee status and admissible to the United States.  Children will also have to complete all required security checks and obtain a medical clearance before they are approved to travel as a refugee to the U.S.  The International Organization for Migration will arrange travel for the refugees to the United States. 

Approved refugees will be assigned to a resettlement agency that will assist with reception and placement and will also receive assistance with registration in school.

Parents will not pay an Application Fee, but will have to pay for DNA Testing and Travel Expenses

Although parents will not have to pay an application fee to submit this petition, they will have to pay for DNA testing costs.  Once the DNA testing confirms the biological relationship between the parent and the child, the refugee interview will be scheduled.  Further, parents will have to pay the cost of travel to the U.S. if the child is approved to travel as a refugee to the United States.  

Children who do not qualify for refugee status may still be able to come to the U.S.

Children who are not eligible for refugee status in the United States will be considered for humanitarian parole.  Humanitarian parole allows individuals who are inadmissible to come to the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. A child may be eligible for parole if the U.S. Department of Homeland Security finds that the child is at risk of harm, has no criminal background, and someone has committed to support the child while the child is in the U.S. 

Children granted parole under this program may receive parole authorization for an initial period of two years and may request renewal. 

A child granted parole will have to book and pay for his flight to the United States.  Parole is temporary and does not confer or lead to any permanent legal immigration status in the United States.  Parole does not provide medical or other benefits once the person arrives in the United States.  However, children granted parole may be eligible to attend school and to apply for employment authorization.

This article is intended to provide general information and not legal advice. If you think that you or someone you know could benefit from CAM then you may want to contact an attorney for further information. Our office, located at 2 Wall Street in New York, New York has many qualified attorneys eager to assist in every type of immigration matter.

Please feel free to contact our office in New York, NY at (212) 344-3800 if you are interested in scheduling a consultation. We are here to help.