CWS Gravely Disappointed in Discontinuation of Central American Minors Program

November 13, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2017

CWS Gravely Disappointed in Discontinuation of Central American Minors Program

This misguided development shuts our doors to children fleeing violence, gang conscription, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation in the region

CAM termination is yet another illustration of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda that people of good faith must resist together

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After the U.S. government announced on November 8 that the Department of Homeland Security / U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) would discontinue the Central American Minors (CAM) program, global humanitarian organization CWS issued the following statement:

“As communities of faith, we are united by principles of compassion, stewardship and justice,” said CWS President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough. “We need the administration and Congress to place humanitarian values at the center of U.S. policies. We must both address root causes and ensure that individuals fleeing violence have an opportunity to seek protection. The CAM program was a step in the right direction, and by eliminating it, the administration is forsaking a tool with which they can protect vulnerable children.”

Since 2005, in Honduras alone, murders of women and girls have increased by 346 percent, and murders of men and boys have grown by 292 percent. Asylum requests by Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans fleeing to Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize have increased by nearly 712 percent since 2009. The U.S. government has failed to recognize these trends as a refugee and humanitarian issue. The United States has moral and legal obligations under international and domestic immigration law to ensure that individuals seeking protection are not returned to their traffickers and others who seek to exploit them.

As families continue to flee torture, violence, and other human rights abuses, CWS urges the administration and all Members of Congress to prioritize the protection of children and families who are in danger and seeking safety. CWS is committed to working with Congress and the administration to develop real, sustainable solutions to enhance the stability of the region and the protection of vulnerable populations.

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at