The Central American Minor (CAM) Program


Nicaraguan father and his two sons
iStockphoto.com / theboone

Introduction to the Central American Minors (CAM) Program

The Central American Minors (CAM) program was established in December 2014 in response to the arrival of an unprecedented number of unaccompanied youth from Central America on the southern border of the United States. Administered by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the CAM program is intended to be a part of a regional humanitarian strategy to deter children from attempting the perilous journey to the United States through Mexico. It reflects U.S. immigration policies that prioritize family reunification and humanitarian concerns, and provides a safe and legal option for children living in Central America to reunite with their biological parents in the U.S. who have a qualifying legal status. The program seeks to protect children who face persecution or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The CAM program is seen as one prong of a multipronged humanitarian response to the plight of unaccompanied children threatened by the violence in Central America.

Additional Resources:

  • Affiliate locations- To apply for the program, qualifying parents in the U.S. must fill out an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) for Minors Who Are National of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (CAM-AOR). CAM AOR forms can only be completed with the assistance of a designated refugee resettlement agency. Click here for a list of affiliate locations.
  • CAM-AOR Process Flow Chart (USCCB)- This flow chart provides a detailed look at the application process from start to finish. 
  • CAM Backgrounder (CORE)- The Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, created a helpful document to educate service providers across the spectrum working with unaccompanied children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. This document contains historical, and political information meant to provide a deeper understanding of the diversity of these youth.
  • CAM Fact Sheet (USCCB)- For detailed information about the CAM program and answers to frequently asked questions, please utilize this fact sheet.
  • CAM Flyer in English & Spanish (CLINIC)- This flyer provides information on the program to community members and parents of possible CAM beneficiaries.
  • CAM Flyer in English & Spanish (KIND)- KIND has developed separate fact sheets targeting parents and Central American youth who may qualify for the CAM program. The fact sheet addresses eligibility questions and explain the application process to both parents and children. 
  • CAM Parole FAQ  in English & Spanish (USCCB) – This fact sheet provides detailed information and commonly asked questions regarding Parole Status in the CAM Program. 
  • Reconnecting Families in English & Spanish (USCRI & Fairfax County Public Schools)- The intent of this book is to help children, parents, and sponsors serving a "parent role" build trusting and loving relationships. The book helps parents begin the conversation of discovery. Through activities and discussions parents and children get to know one another again.
  • WEBINAR: Overseas Refugee Processing Program for Central American Minors (CLINIC)- CLINIC has created this informational webinar regarding the CAM application process. It covers such questions as - "What are the eligibility requirements for a parent to apply? Which Central American children will be eligible? How does the process work? What can legal providers do to educate communities about the program, identify those who might be eligible, and refer them to refugee resettlement agencies to complete their applications?"

Outreach Videos:

In partnership with the Maya Heritage Community Project and Maya Children USA, Inc., USCCB has developed the following video resources to help raise awareness of the CAM-AOR program* among speakers of Mayan languages. In addition to an abbreviated version in Spanish, educational videos were created in Acateco, Chuj, Ixil, Mam, Quanjobal, and Kiche. Each video provides a general overview of the CAM program as well as information on locating the nearest R&P affiliate for additional information on eligibility and the application process.

To order a complimentary CD copy of these videos, please email migratingchildren@usccb.org with your full name, organization, and address.

Click on the Playlist Icon YouTube Playlist Icon below to view all the videos.