The US State Department on Thursday will end the Central American Minors (CAM) refugee programme established to help children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The programme, established in 2014 by former President Barack Obama's administration, allowed certain parents lawfully residing in the US to request a refugee resettlement interview for their children and eligible family members, reports the Voice of America.
But President Donald Trump's administration said it would end the program as part of its overall review of the refugees admissions process.
On Wednesday, the State Department announced the decision, saying that people from those countries seeking refugee status may still be eligible but they must use the normal refugee screening process.
Since 2014, more than 1,500 children and eligible family members have arrived in the US as refugees under the CAM programme, and another 13,000 have applied for refuge, the State Department said.
The decision to end the programme comes the same week that the administration announced that it was ending the immigration benefits for nearly 2,500 Nicaraguan nationals living and working in the US under a programme called Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the Voice of America reported.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave the Nicaraguan TPS recipients 12 months after the January 5, 2018, expiration of their protected status to arrange their affairs and either leave the country or obtain legal status through a different visa category.
Another 195,000 Salvadorans and 46,000 Haitians are awaiting the decision on their fate, as DHS must decide in coming weeks what to do with TPS recipients from those countries whose legal residency will expire early next year.
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