KIND Launches a New Stage of a Program to Help Central American Children Search for Safety in the United States

February 8, 2023

Washington, DCToday, KIND is embarking on a rigorous public outreach campaign to ensure that Central American families are aware of KIND’s program to provide free assistance to parents and legal guardians in the United States seeking to bring their children to safety through the Central American Minors (CAM) Program. In 2021, the Biden Administration reopened the CAM program, which had been terminated in 2017, to reunite qualified children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with their parents or legal guardians who are in a qualifying immigration category in the United States.   

“KIND will use our expertise working with children and families from Central America for more than a decade to help families reunite in safety through the Central American Minors program,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Our experience helping thousands of unaccompanied children with their immigration cases in the United States, assisting more than 1,000 families affected by family separation, and successfully reuniting families through the Family Reunification Task Force will guide our work, as will our previous work supporting CAM applicants. KIND will use our extensive network of community contacts to reach eligible families and identify potential cases.”  

CAM provides qualifying parents and legal guardians in the United States who are in qualifying immigration categories an opportunity to apply for their qualifying children to reunify with them in the United States. Parents and legal guardians can apply for qualifying children and certain family members in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to travel to the United States with refugee status. Those who are not granted refugee status may be able to receive humanitarian parole.   

KIND is partnering with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in this initiative. KIND can receive referrals for CAM applications from the CAM Hotline operated by IRC, or through our online referral form. KIND will screen all referrals to determine if they may be eligible for CAM and help parents and guardians prepare their CAM applications if they are eligible. Parents and children cannot submit CAM applications to the government on their own or with lawyers. Only designated resettlement agencies can submit the applications to the U.S. government. KIND will work directly with the agencies while preparing the applications. Applications will ultimately be submitted by a resettlement agency. CAM cases that are accepted for processing by the U.S. government will be assigned to a resettlement agency that will assist the family with the next steps of the process.   

KIND will also conduct outreach to legal services providers; local, national, and international media; and international, regional, country-specific, and local partners to share information about the program and application process with eligible families, and we will hold information sessions to inform parents and guardians about the program directly.  

To apply, qualifying parents or qualifying legal guardians must be over 18 years old, located in the United States, and in a qualifying immigration category at the time the application is filed. Qualifying parents must have at least one qualifying child who is a biological, step, or legally adopted child, under 21, unmarried, and living in and a national of either El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras.  Qualifying legal guardians can apply for a qualifying child under 21, unmarried, and living in and a national of either El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. The qualifying immigration categories for parents and legal guardians are:    

  • Lawful Permanent Resident  
  • Temporary Protected Status   
  • Parole (for a minimum of one year)  
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  
  • Deferred Enforced Departure  
  • Withholding of Removal  
  • Pending asylum application filed before May 15, 2021  
  • Pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021.  

Potential applicants can:  

  1. Call the CAM Hotline at (917) 410 7546 and leave a message with their name and number, or email the Hotline at The CAM Hotline, which is operated by IRC, will return the call and conduct an initial screening of the case. If the caller is potentially eligible, the CAM Hotline can refer your case to KIND to fill out your application.     
  1. Submit a referral to KIND at KIND will screen the case and can place the case with a case worker to start your application if you are eligible for CAM.    


“KIND’s many levels of expertise, support, and outreach will enable us to inform and assist significant numbers of potentially eligible families and ultimately help many children in danger in Central America reunite with their families and embark on a new life in safety with their loved ones,” Young added. “KIND thanks the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration for its support for the program.”  

* KIND’s CAM Application Program is funded through a gift of the United States government. 


Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is an international nonprofit devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children who migrate alone in search of safety. KIND was founded by Microsoft Corporation and Co-founder and Patron Angelina Jolie in 2008. KIND has assisted over 30,000 children in need of legal counsel and support. More information:, Twitter and Facebook. 



The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC works in more than 40 countries and in 28 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook. 


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