State Department ends Central American minor refugee program

State Department ends Central American minor refugee program

The US State Department announced [press release] Wednesday that it will end the Central American Minors (CAM) refugee program, an Obama-era immigration initiative that sought to resettle “children and eligible family members who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.”

CAM was established as a response to the thousands of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central American countries in order to seek asylum in the US. The program came under review [Reuters report] once President Donald Trump signed an executive order [executive order] on border security at the beginning of his term.

In September the White House sent a fiscal report [Politico report] to Congress stating that they were ending CAM “because the vast majority of individuals accessing the program were not eligible for refugee resettlement.”

Going forward, the US government will no longer accept applications for the refugee program. Instead it will focus [NYT report] on working with the Costa Rican government, the UN and the International Organization for Migration to come up with “more targeted” ways to assist refugees.