First Batch of 'Refugee' Kids Land in U.S. Thanks to New Obama Amnesty Program

Brittany M. Hughes | February 18, 2016
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One of President Obama's most controversial amnesty programs has delivered its first batch of illegal alien children to U.S. shores.

Unilaterally created by the president as a safe way for illegal alien children to come to the United States, the administration’s year-old Central American Minors Refugee/Parole (CAM) program has now accepted 6,722 applications to date, most of which have been submitted in the last six months. So far, 48 of these children have been transferred to the United States.

According to a New York Times article, not one child had been brought to the United States as of November. At the time, the Department of Homeland Security had only conducted 90 final interviews.

However, a State Department spokesperson told MRCTV on Wednesday that the administration has currently completed about 600 final interviews to date:

The Central American Minors program provides a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children have undertaken to join their parents in the United States.

While the program launched 13 months ago, most of the approximately 6,500 applications received so far have come in the last six months. To date, the State Department has performed its initial screening of nearly 3,000 of these applicants, and DHS has completed more than 600 final interviews.

In total, applications have been received from 6,722 individuals. Of those, 5,797 are from El Salvador, 140 are from Guatemala, and 785 are from Honduras. Forty-eight individuals have arrived in the United States via the program so far, 37 from El Salvador and 11 from Honduras.

The CAM program allows certain Central American adults living in the U.S. to apply to bring their children still living in Latin America into the United States. While the adult must be “lawfully” present in the U.S. to have their child(ren) accepted to the program, this qualifier extends to illegal alien adults who have been granted temporary amnesty under President Obama’s executive immigration actions, including those under “Deferred Action, Deferred Enforced Departure, or Withholding of Removal.”

The “child” in question must be under 21 years old.

The CAM program applies to parents and children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and has been marketed as a safer way for undocumented children, dubbed as “refugees,” to get into the U.S. without having to rely on a human smuggler. The program got off to a relatively slow start when it launched in December 2014, but has seen a steady increase in the number of applicants since its inception. 

Regardless of its increasingly high impact potential on American society, and despite having been widely advertised in Latin American countries, the program remains largely unknown and virtually ignored in the United States.

According to an October press release from Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Department of Homeland Security had only finalized about 90 CAM applications at the time. Of these, 12 percent were approved for refugee status, and 84 percent were approved for parole into the United States.

Only 1 percent of the 90 applications were affirmatively denied.