The Biden administration on Monday announced it will start taking applications for the Central American Minors (CAM) program, The Hill reported.
The program allows adults in the United States to legally petition to have their minor dependents brought to the U.S. from Central America.
The administration hopes the program will ease issues at the U.S.-Mexico border, where migrants have been surging all year, while also cutting into the business of the smugglers who are paid to bring the children illegally through Mexico to the border, on treacherous, dangerous journeys.
“Strengthening collaborative migration management, which includes creating legal pathways — including CAM — is one of the pillars of the president’s blueprint for a fair, orderly and humane immigration system,” a senior administration official told reporters.
White House officials say tens of thousands of parents may be eligible to apply for the program.
The first stage will reopen cases for parents from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala whose applications were interrupted during the Trump administration. The second phase will take new applications.
Eligible parents and guardians include U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents as well as foreign nationals under Temporary Protected Status, humanitarian parole, deferred enforced departure, withholding of removal, a pending asylum application or a visa for victims of criminal activity.
The plan did not receive universal praise. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted:
“The Biden regime expanded the unlawful CAM program and is now allowing illegal aliens to petition to have their illegal alien children in Central America flown to the USA on airplanes at taxpayer expense. You can’t make this stuff up! It’s always America Last with Biden.”