As Child Arrivals Rise, Administration Must Seek Sustainable Solutions

March 10, 2021

Washington DC – As the number of unaccompanied children at the border continues to rise, the Biden Administration today took a significant step forward to addressing the flow of arrivals by restarting the Central American Minors (CAM) program that allows some children to seek U.S. protection from their country and avoid a dangerous journey. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) praised the move and called on the administration to swiftly put in place other key solutions to ensure kids are protected.

“The safety of children is our key concern,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “The administration must work to put in place policies and solutions that process children at the border quickly and moves them to a place of stability while their asylum claims are adjudicated. It also needs to address the factors that force these children to flee from their home countries through strategic foreign assistance to the region. While it undertakes that work, the CAM program is a critical part of the response that provides a lifeline to some children.”

With programs in Central America and Mexico, including along the U.S. southern border, KIND has worked to address the needs of children facing life-threatening conditions, including those stuck at the border because of the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols and Title 42 policy. KIND Mexico has helped hundreds of unaccompanied children who had been prevented from accessing the United States under policies put in place during the past four years. The organization’s team of attorneys, social workers, and other advocates have offered legal assistance, social supports, counseling, and other vital services.

“KIND is dedicated to protecting children on both sides of the border,” Young noted. “We are partnering with local organizations to respond to COVID-19, lending our expertise to Mexican officials so they can better support migrant children, and advocating with the U.S. and Mexican governments to work together to ensure the safety of migrant children as they travel and seek protection. The solutions to the chaos of the past four years will not come quickly, but they must come, and they must remain a priority for this administration.”

“The children at our southern border are not here because they want to be. They are fleeing for their lives. This is a serious situation that requires the administration to act responsibly and quickly,” concluded Young. “Today’s CAM announcement is a significant step forward. We look forward to additional actions in the days ahead.”


Media Contact: Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990