The Departments of State and Homeland Security announced that the Central American Minors, or CAM, program has fully reopened and is accepting new applications. The program allows certain U.S.-based parents and legal guardians to petition for access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program on behalf of their children and qualifying relatives in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
CAM originally operated from 2014 – 2018; its reopening and increased eligibility are components of President Joe Biden’s multi-pronged approach to expand and promote legal pathways to the United States as an alternative to dangerous irregular migration.
In March 2021, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the two-phased restart of CAM. During the first phase, the U.S. government identified and made eligible for reopening, cases that had been closed when the program was terminated in 2018. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas jointly announced additional categories of program eligibility on June 15, and on September 14 the Department of State began to accept new CAM applications for the first time since 2017.
The United States is firmly committed to welcoming people to this country with humanity and respect, and reuniting families. The Biden-Harris administration is delivering on its promise to promote legal, safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America through this expansion of legal pathways to seek humanitarian protection in the United States.