Trump Ends Most ‘Parole’ for Central American Youth

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The Trump administration is cutting off an Obama-era pathway to the U.S. for young migrants fleeing violence in Central America, the New York Times reports. The change narrows the options for thousands of people hoping to seek refuge here as the White House moves to tighten immigration rules. The Department of Homeland Security today is ending a program begun in 2014 that gave some children and young adults who had failed to qualify for refugee status permission to enter the U.S. to live and work on a temporary basis, known as parole. The agency acted in response to President Trump’s January executive order on immigration, which directed officials to exercise much more selectively their authority to admit immigrants outside normal legal channels.

The Trump administration has also tried to hold back the high tide of young Central American migrants by intensifying immigration enforcement within the U.S., seeking out their parents who are in the country and arresting them. “Parole will only be issued on a case-by-case basis and only where the applicant demonstrates an urgent humanitarian or a significant public benefit reason for parole and that applicant merits a favorable exercise of discretion,” the department. Under the Obama administration, the program was established as a way to deal with a relentless surge of children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala arriving at the southern border without adults.

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