HIAS PA Issues Digest #6: End of CAM program and more

Sixth Edition                                                                                 August 22, 2017

HIAS Pennsylvania Immigration Issues Digest 

While Some Communities Recognize their Fourth Amendment Obligations, Others Are Happy To Help With Trump’s Immigration Crackdown


Trump closes a door for Central American Minors

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it has cancelled a large part of the Central american Minors Program ,  a program developed during former President Obama’s presidency in an effort to solve the issue of a surge in unaccompanied minors coming across the border from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This program allowed children coming from these countries the opportunity to first apply for refugee status (most do so without legal counsel). If they were denied refugee status, they could apply for parole with the ultimate goal of reuniting them with their families in the US. Now, the opportunity for parole has been effectively discontinued. With the loss of parole, 2,444 Salvadoran children, 231 Honduran children and 39 Guatemalan children will not be able to reunite with their family.

What does this mean for Central American children?

The situation in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala is as chaotic as it ever was and many children live in fear of gang violence and rape. Some have witnessed the cold blooded murder of their siblings or their friends, others have been threatened with their lives, while still others have been assaulted but managed to escape. This fear has driven thousands of children to make the dangerous journey across Mexico to the U.S. border in order to reunite with their families in the US. The loss of this program will mean more children will have no choice but to make the perilous journey to the US. without any legal protection increasing their need to rely on dangerous and corrupt smugglers.

New Report: 
The Positive Impact Refugees have on the Economy

While there are many humanitarian reasons for accepting refugees into the country, a new report by the New American Economy , emphasizes that accepting refugees also make enduring positive economic impact in the US. Findings include:
  • Refugees have an even higher entrepreneurship rate than other immigrants. 13% of refugees are entrepreneurs, compared to 11.5% of immigrants, and 9% of native-born individuals. Refugee businesses generated $4.6 billion in income in 2015.
  • Refugees are committed to the United States: compared to other immigrants, refugees are more likely to become citizens than other immigrants, as well as own their homes.
  • Refugees are intensely upwardly mobile. While the median household income of refugees in their first 5 years is $21,782, for those who have been in the US more than 25 years, the median household income is $67,000

What can you do?

Ask Congress demand that more refugees be let into the country in the coming year: the President makes a recommendation to Congress every year about the number of refugees to be allowed to enter the country and Congress has the authority to approve or deny that recommendation. Any recommendation that is lower than 75,000 refugees--the amount of refugees resettled over the last several years--not only raise the desperation level of those seeking to escape war, violence and persecution, but hurt the economy.

HIAS Pennsylvania in the News

Immigrant survivors of domestic violence are more vulnerable than other survivors  when they experience domestic violence. Often dependent on their abusers for legal status, they are terrified that seeking help will mean that they will get deported away from their children. The truth is, however, that these survivors do have legal protection. Read about HIAS PA’s role in helping survivors achieve this protection and consequently safety for themselves and their children here .


Cathryn Miller-Wilson

The Effect of the RAISE Act

Executive Director Cathryn Miller-Wilson’s is quoted in both BillyPenn
and The  Maineline Times  (written by Board Member Bonnie Squires) analyzing the effects of Trump’s proposed immigration policy


Share This!