DHS Launches “Family Reunification,” Refugee Program for Central Americans
To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the Obama administration is offering free transportation from three Central American countries and a special refugee/parole program with “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency.
Under the new initiative the administration has rebranded the official name it originally assigned to the droves of illegal immigrant minors who continue sneaking into the U.S. They’re no longer known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), a term that evidently was offensive and not politically correct enough for the powerful open borders movement. The new arrivals will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The project is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.
Specifically, the “program provides certain children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are undertaking to the United States,” according to a DHS memo obtained by JW this week. The document goes on to say that the CAM program has started accepting applications from “qualifying parents” to bring their offspring under the age of 21 from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The candidates will then be granted a special refugee parole, which includes many taxpayer-funded perks and benefits. Among them is a free education, food stamps, medical care and living expenses.
During a special teleconference this week officials from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the State Department explained how CAM will work. Only “friendly” groups and individuals invited by the government were allowed to participate and the event was not open to the media. Judicial Watch attended as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with interest in the matter. Obama administration officials offered an overview of the new CAM initiative and confirmed that the U.S. has deployed staff to the region to handle the influx of applicants. A State Department official promoted CAM as a “family reunification” program that will be completely funded by American taxpayers, though the official claimed to have no idea what the cost will be.
A U.S.-based parent will initiate the application to bring his or her child in from any of the three Central American countries. To qualify they must be a permanent resident, a parolee or a beneficiary of Obama’s recent amnesty or deferred action. Many have probably lived illegally in the U.S. for years. The only out-of-pocket cost is for a DNA test to assure the child belongs to the applicant but Uncle Sam will reimburse the money if the result is positive. A U.S. official will interview the child, then a medical exam and “cultural orientation” will be conducted before the minor flies to the U.S. Once in the U.S. the illegal alien will get “resettlement assistance,” the State Department official confirmed during the teleconference.
If the applicant doesn’t qualify for the more desirable refugee status he or she can be considered for parole, a USCIS official explained in the teleconference, which was attended mostly by immigrant rights groups known for advocating on behalf of illegal aliens. Refugee status is a form of protection offered to those who are deemed of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Parole allows individuals who may be otherwise inadmissible to come to the U.S. on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The State Department official assured that applicants need not express or document a credible fear to qualify under CAM because “we want to make sure this program is open to as many people as possible.”