The CAM Refugee and Parole Program provides an opportunity to apply for refugee status and possible resettlement in the U.S. to certain qualified children who are El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras nationals, as well as certain family members of those children.
In an effort to resolve the ongoing crisis at the U.S. – Mexico border, the Biden Administration is reviving and expanding the CAM program. The administration announced it would reopen the program in two phases:
- Process eligible applications that were closed when the program was cancelled in 2017.
- Start accepting new applications with updated guidance.
Are you eligible for CAM refugee status? Or unsure whether you are or not? Attorney Eric Price is here for you. Attorney Price is Los Angeles’ top immigration attorney. From eligibility requirements to filing paperwork and immigration court hearings and proceedings, Price guides his clients through every step of the immigration process in order to secure the most favorable outcomes for their future in the United States. Contact Eric Price to learn more today at 855-662-2772.
What Is The CAM Program?
The CAM program provides the ability to apply for refugee status and be granted possible resettlement in the U.S. for qualified children and certain family members who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Only certain parents or legal guardians who are lawfully present in the U.S. are able to request access to the program for their qualifying children.
Why Was The CAM Program Created?
The Obama Administration established the CAM program in 2014 in order to provide children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who have parents or relatives with legal status in the United States to apply for protective status in the United States.
The purpose of the program was to offer children fleeing persecution in Central America a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to attempting to travel to the U.S. border alone or with smugglers. It was also created to help curb an increase in unaccompanied minors arriving at the border in 2014. The number of kids arriving at the U.S. border from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) more than doubled from 20,805 in FY 2013 to 51,705 in FY 2014. This overwhelmed U.S. processing capacity and forced Customs and Border Protection to house these children in temporary shelters on U.S. military bases. The influx of children at the border was attributed to a spike in gang-related homicides in El Salvador and Honduras (where the country experienced the highest murder rate of any country in the world in 2014). The majority of the kids arriving at the U.S. border came from the most violent regions of the Northern Triangle, with many reporting being recruited by powerful gangs. Resisting gang recruitment often resulted in violence, including rape, kidnapping, and murder.
In 2017, the Trump Administration terminated the CAM program.
CAM Program Reopening
On March 10, 2021, the Biden administration announced its plans to reinstate the CAM program as part of its effort to resolve the crisis at the Southern border. The reopening was planned in two phases:
- Phase 1 — The first phase will process eligible applications that were closed when the Trump Administration terminated the program.
- Phase 2 — The second phase will start accepting new applications with updated guidance to follow.
CAM Program Eligibility Requirements
Only certain parents or relatives (legal guardians) who are already lawfully present in the U.S. are eligible to request access to the CAM program for qualifying children.
- Qualifying Parent Or Legal Guardian — Must be lawfully present in the United States.
- Qualifying Child — Must be unmarried, under age 21, and a national of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, and be the child (genetic, step, or adopted) of the qualifying parent.
- Eligible Family Members — Unmarried children under age 21 of the qualifying child are also eligible to be included in the CAM case. In-country parents of the qualifying child can also be included if:
- They are part of the same household and economic unit as the qualifying child.
- They are legally married to the qualifying parent in the U.S.
- They continue to be legally married to the qualifying parent at the time they are admitted or paroled to the United States.
- In-country parents of the qualifying child who are not legally married to the qualifying parent may still be included if they are the biological parent of the qualifying child and are part of the same household and economic unit as them.
The CAM application process is as follows:
- Filing Affidavit Of Relationship (AOR) — The qualifying parent or guardian in the U.S. may file an AOR with the assistance of an authorized resettlement agency. There is no fee to apply for CAM.
- USCIS Interview — Once an application is granted access to CAM, USCIS officers will interview the child and eligible family members to determine whether or not they will be approved to be classified as a refugee.
- DNA Relationship Testing — DNA testing is required to verify the relationship between individuals claiming a biological parent-child relationship.
- Medical Exam — If all of the above requirements are met and it is determined that you are a refugee through this program, you will undergo a medical exam.
What Happens If My Application Is Denied?
Although there is no appeal for a denial of a refugee status application, USCIS may exercise its discretion to review cases as long as they receive the Request for Review (RFR) in a timely manner — 90 days from the date of the refugee status denial notice, parole denial notice, or rescission notice.
How To Request Re-Parole
If someone has been paroled under CAM but has not requested or received their immigration status in the U.S., they must request re-parole — an additional parole period — in order to lawfully stay in the U.S. past their initial parole expiration date. USCIS will consider CAM re-parole requests under the same criteria of the CAM program. In order to allow time for processing, you should submit re-parole requests at least 90 days before the parole expiration date.
The steps to request re-parole are as follows:
- File Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and pay the required fee. You can also request a waiver for the fee.
- Check Box 1.e. or 1.f. in Part two of the form and complete section 2.a. – 2.p., if applicable.
- Write “CAM re-parole” at the top of your application.
- Include any evidence that supports your re-parole, such as an explanation of why you need to stay in the U.S. and any documents that support that claim.
- Include Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, and supporting evidence.
- Mail the I-131 form, payment, and all supporting documents to the address provided on the Filing Addresses for Form I-131
What About Case Closures & Terminations?
People who receive parole under CAM maintain their parole status until the parole period expires. But, DHS can also terminate the parole for the following reasons:
- Departure from the U.S.
- Violation of any U.S. laws
- They decide to terminate parole.
If you are looking to start a new application for CAM or re-submit an old one, or receive parole, it’s important to contact a skilled and experienced immigration attorney. Immigration law is complex and fast-evolving, and it’s important to work with an expert who is on top of all of the changes as they happen.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
Attorney Eric Price believes that every dream deserves a fighting chance. He and his team have halted more than 1,700 deportations, kept 468 families together, and issued 125 green cards, all with the goal of attaining one common dream. Stop leaving your future in limbo and contact Attorney Eric Price today.