Human Rights First Applauds Announcement for Central American Minors
WASHINGTON — Human Rights First welcomes the Biden administration’s announcement today of plans to expand the categories of persons who can petition to bring children to safety in the United States through the Central American Minors Program (CAM) to include asylum seekers and others.
“Today’s announcement is an important step in the right direction that should provide a critical pathway to protection for some at-risk children,” said Eleanor Acer, Refugee Protection Director at Human Rights First. “U.S. agencies should process these children’s cases quickly and ramp up support for efforts to protect children in danger as they await completion of their processing. While we urge the Biden administration to continue to expand refugee resettlement and other pathways to protection, it must uphold existing U.S. refugee laws and restore access to asylum.”
Human Rights First, which provides pro bono legal representation to refugees and asylum seekers, welcomes the expansion of CAM to additional categories of persons, including “certain U.S.-based parents or legal guardians who have a pending asylum application” and legal guardians (in addition to parents) with the withholding of removal.
Human Rights First has previously recommended steps to strengthen and expand CAM in recommendations to the Biden administration and urges the administration to take additional steps to further expand and strengthen the program, including to expand it to children with close relatives in the United States such as grandparents, older siblings, uncles and aunts.
In addition, the organization has repeatedly called on the Biden administration to restore access to asylum and end its misuse of public health authority to expel and ban asylum seekers.