The vast majority of Central Americans who have been interviewed for the Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole program have been approved to come to the U.S., Breitbart News has learned.
According to officials at the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as of Monday the Obama administration has received 4,253 applications for the CAM program. So far only 90 applicants have been interviewed.
Out of the 90 interviews, the last step in the application adjudication process, 12 percent have been approved for refugee status and 84 percent have been recommended for parole. That means at least 96 percent of the adjudicated applicants will be coming to the U.S., as less than one percent have been affirmatively denied.
The Obama administration launched the controversial CAM program last year in response to the influx of unaccompanied Central American minors at the border. The program allows parents living in the U.S. legally to apply to have their children living in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras to be flown to the U.S. as a refugee or parolee. The program is also available to illegal immigrant parents who have been granted amnesty.
There are no fees to apply, except a payment for the DNA test to ensure that the parents and children are in fact related. The DNA payment is refunded if there is match.
Once approved the child may come to the U.S. Those approved as refugees fly on a loan from the U.S. government. Parolees do not receive such travel loans.
Republicans have criticized the program as another incentive for illegal immigration and expensive abuse of refugee and parolee statuses.
“In effect, the President’s answer to the ongoing run on the border is to order government officials to transport many of those same individuals from Central America into the U.S. with lawful paperwork and guaranteed access to federal benefits,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said earlier this year.
USCIS will be sending refugee officers to Central America in November to interview additional CAM applicants.
According to the State Department it is unclear how long it will take to adjudicate the remaining applications as the timeliness depends on how quickly the applying parents move forward with the DNA tests.
When asked if the administration expects the high approval rates to continue, a State Department official explained that predicting the outcome of the adjudications is impossible as they are determined “on a case by case basis.”