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Asylum status now available for certain minors

People who are living in South Carolina and who originated from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador may be interested to learn the the federal government has decided to allow children from those countries to apply for asylum. In order to be eligible, the children must apply at an office in their home country, must be under the age of 21 and must be unmarried.

Children from the target countries must have a relative who is legally residing in the United States. The program, which will begin in December, will allow parents of the children who are still residing in one of the three countries to be included on their child's applications in some situations.

Children will be required to have a medical clearance and a DNA test in order to prove they are related. For those children who have already entered the United States illegally from Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala, the government has indicated they will be considered for a special refugee status based on humanitarian grounds. As the news has been replete with reports of the hundreds of South and Central American children fleeing their home countries for the U.S., this new procedure is welcome news.

Asylum provides the children the ability to escape possible persecution in their home countries while also avoiding the dangerous journey across South and Central America many have been undertaking. Relatives of children who are in one of the target countries may be able to get more information about how to help their relative apply for asylum in order to come to the United States. An immigration law attorney can provide more information on this new arrangement.

Source: FOX News Latino, "Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras can now apply for asylum in U.S.", November 14, 2014

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