The Obama administration will reportedly allow immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to apply for refugee status from their countries.
The program, which was announced on Tuesday, will reportedly “establish in-country processing to screen the young people to determine if they qualify to join relatives in the U.S.” and will accept 4,000 immigrants “from Latin America and the Caribbean for next year.”
Nearly all of the nearly 66,000 illegal immigrant juveniles who have been detained at the border since October of last year have come from those three Central American countries, and according to the Associated Press, “immigrants from those countries who are lawfully in the United States will be able to request that child relatives still in those three countries be resettled in the United States as refugees.”
Even the Associated Press notes that “the program is not likely to stop other minors or migrant families from seeking to cross the border” illegally. Just last month, “Border Patrol agents apprehended 3,129” illegal immigrant juveniles.
The new program will reportedly “not provide a path for minors to join relatives illegally in the United States and would not apply to minors who have entered the country illegally.” The AP noted that the presidential memorandum “also singled out Cuba, Iraq, Eurasia, and the Baltics as locations where the United States could screen individuals for potential refugee status” in the future.