Federal Judge Orders Trump Admin Resume Processing Applications for Young Migrants Left in Limbo

A group of Central American migrants — mostly from Honduras — wanting to reach the United States struggle for fruit given by volunteers outside a temporary shelter in Tijuana, near the U.S.-Mexico border fence, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Credit: Guillermo Arias / AFP / Getty Images)

A group of Central American migrants wanting to reach the United States struggle for fruit given by volunteers outside a temporary shelter in Tijuana, near the U.S.-Mexico border fence, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Credit: Guillermo Arias / AFP / Getty Images)

A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the Trump administration to resume processing the applications of more than 2,700 young Central Americans and family members who were left in limbo after the government abruptly ended a program designed to help them reunite with relatives in the United States.

The Central American Minors program, created in late 2014 in response to a surge of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing violence in the region, was billed as a safe alternative to a dangerous journey north through Mexico. It allowed immigrants who were lawfully present in the U.S. to apply for refugee status or humanitarian parole on behalf of their children younger than 21, as well as for their spouses and grandchildren living in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras.

Those affected by the court’s decision spent months or years going through a rigorous application process and already had been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to relocate to the U.S. as long as they cleared medical and final security checks.

Advocates filed a class-action lawsuit last July on behalf of six families over the termination of the program. Some already had paid for flights and were days away from reuniting when, lawyers say, the Trump administration secretly shut down the program in January 2017.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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