Living Up to America’s Promise: The Need to Bolster the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

March 22, 2023

KIND’s statement addresses the pivotal role that the Central American Minors Program can play in reducing the unauthorized migration of children by allowing parents to submit applications for their children to be interviewed for refugee status while still in the northern countries of Central America.  The program provides an alternative which is safer and offers genuine, long-term protection for these children, including parole for those found at risk but unable to qualify for refugee status.  In KIND’s experience, however, many children paroled into the country likely have refugee claims which were not fully explored during their interviews.  Consequently, we recommend permitting access to counsel during CAM interviews, expanded education and training on country conditions and legal conclusions based on typical fact patterns, more support for processing, and increasing access to the program to include more children and ensure their safety while applying.

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