Claudia Torrens / AP
The Trump administration has agreed to file a lawsuit against a dozen Central American families who were challenging the government's cancellation of a program to reunite the children of this region with their parents living in the United States.
As a result, some 2,700 children living in Central America may be allowed to enter the United States at a time when the Trump government is actively trying to dissuade other migrants from trying to come to that country.
The program, called the Central American Minors Program, was launched under the Obama administration in 2014 to cope with a resurgence of unaccompanied minors who sought to reach their parents. Minors in Central America whose parents were legally resident in the United States were eligible to apply for permanent residence as refugees or parole – a designation allowing a person to legally reside in the United States. According to a 2018 court, 1,335 minors arrived in the United States. order.
This order follows the end of the program by the Trump administration in August 2017. The government also canceled the conditional release of approximately 2,700 juveniles who had previously been conditionally approved, but did not go ahead. were not yet in the United States.
The International Refugee Assistance Project and the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP filed suit in the name of families whose children were pregnant when the administration canceled the program. The plaintiffs alleged that there had been a "secret closure" of the program in the early days of the Trump administration, even as the government continued to solicit and accept funds from plaintiffs to pay for medical examinations and go to the United States.
Judge Laurel Beeler, a judge, said in December 2018 that the massive revocation by the administration of conditional approvals granted to minors was illegal. In a decision of March 1, she ordered the government to resume treatment of children. But it did not compel the Department of Homeland Security to "achieve a particular outcome with respect to the treatment of an individual beneficiary".
Under the terms of the regulation, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service "agrees to treat approximately 2,700 individuals who have been conditionally approved for parole by the end of the CAM parole program. then issued resolution notices, as well as any child born later that is classified as add-ons ".
According to a statement announcing the transaction, the International Refugee Assistance Project said: "The government anticipates that most applicants will be approved for parole and allowed to travel to the United States."
One plaintiff, identified in court documents only as "S.A.", had made an application on behalf of her daughter and grandchild.
"My heart is pounding and weeping for joy because there are so many who must escape the danger, I am sure that I will be with my daughter and my grandson soon," she said. a statement to IRAP.
"We are really pleased that after many years of time, our clients finally have the opportunity to get together safely," said Linda Evarts Litigation Attorney.
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment by e-mail.