United States eliminates Central American Minors Refugee Program (CAM)

The U.S. Department of State eliminated the Central American Minors Refugee (CAM) Program and stopped accepting new applications on November 9, 2017.

This means that certain minors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who have parents who are permanent residents or have legal status in the United States will no longer be able to apply for refugee status while in their home country.

USCIS confirmed that the last day for CAM case interviews is January 31, 2018.. After that date, those who have not yet been interviewed but have applications pending will receive a notice with further instructions.

The U.S. government decided to cancel CAM after conducting a comprehensive review of the Refugee Admissions Program for fiscal year 2018..

The CAM program went into effect on December 1, 2014, under the administration of President Barack Obama, to give certain Central American minors the opportunity to apply for resettlement as refugees in the United States from their country of origin.

Individuals who were not eligible for refugee status could then be considered by USCIS for entry into the United States under a humanitarian parole (parole). The government cancelled the CAM program's temporary humanitarian parole in August 2017.

According to the Department of State, more than 1,500 persons from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras entered the United States as refugees, including children and family members sheltered under the CAM program from its inception in December 2014 through October of this year.