Biden Administration to Restart Central American Minors Program | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Start of main content.

Press Release // Foster Care

Biden Administration to Restart Central American Minors Program

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

March 10, 2021

Contact: Timothy Young | | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – The State Department announced the reopening of the Central American Minors, or CAM, program for children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The program, which ran from 2014 through 2017, was created to provide a safer process for vulnerable children fleeing violence to reunify with family in the U.S.

The program will be restarted in two phases.  The first phase will involve processing eligible applications that were closed when the program was terminated. This phase could benefit over 3,000 children that were awaiting processing when the program was abruptly terminated by the Trump administration in 2017.  The second phase will allow new application submissions – the State Department advised updated guidance is forthcoming.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge, the largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving vulnerable immigrant children and families in the U.S.:

“The re-launch of this program is a welcome and promising development. Global Refuge was an implementing partner of the program before its abrupt cancellation, and its impact cannot be overstated. The program represents our nation’s bedrock principle of family unity put into practice. When families are together, America thrives.

We commend the Biden administration for taking compassionate, common-sense steps to streamline the process, make it safer and more efficient, and expand it to help more children and families. But there is much work ahead to rebuild the infrastructure of welcome – tragically, many of the local support sites who support these families were forced to shutter their doors due to the previous administration’s attack on immigration.

Restarting the program will have its challenges, but we are incredibly heartened by the new administration’s commitment to restoring humanitarian leadership and extending a helping hand to families in need. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to build on the success of the original program and further improve it to ensure more families have an opportunity to reunite with the support they need. We also look forward to the administration issuing a revised presidential determination for FY21, which would help thousands more families reunite.

Founded in 1939, Global Refuge (LIRS) is one of the largest immigration and refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. Global Refuge is nationally recognized for its leadership working with and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through 80 years of service and advocacy, Global Refuge has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

The Latest

  • Press Release

    June 18, 2024

    Global Refuge Commends Executive Order Protecting Certain Immigrant Families

    Washington, D.C. – The Biden administration announced today an executive order that will protect certain immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens without status currently living in the United States from being removed from the country.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    June 4, 2024

    Biden administration announces additional asylum restrictions

    The Biden administration announced today a proclamation to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official U.S. ports of entry.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    May 23, 2024

    U.S. Senate renews push for immigration reform

    The United States Senate is poised to vote on immigration legislation this Thursday in an effort to revive reforms previously negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators.

    Read More
  • News

    May 15, 2024

    Empowering our new neighbors on the journey to healing

    Global Refuge supports refugee and immigrant mental health through holistic programming.

    Read More
  • News · Empowering Refugees

    May 14, 2024

    Breaking Barriers to Mental Healthcare

    In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we are spotlighting Margie Hartman LMSW, one of our dedicated clinicians who play a vital role in Global Refuge’s Mental Health Services program.

    Read More