70% Of Immigrants Admitted Under Obama's "Minor Refugee" Program Are Actually Adults

Two years ago the Obama administration sought out to tackle a "crisis" that involved minors seeking out "human smugglers" to help with transportation across the U.S. - Mexico border.  So, with a swipe of the pen, Obama signed an executive order allowing minors of certain Central American countries to flee to the U.S. under a "refugee/parole program." 

Two years later, there's just one problem: 70% of the people admitted under the program are actually adults.  According to MRC TV, official data from the State Department indicates that of the 1,600 aliens that have traveled to the U.S. under the CAM program to date, only 480 of them are actually under the age of 18. 

Now, under the CAM program, the State Department told MRCTV in an email Wednesday that of the 1,600 aliens who have traveled to the United States to date, only 480 of them – just 30 percent – are children under the age of 18.


Conversely, a full 70 percent of those aliens who’ve been allowed into the United States under the president’s program for “minors” are adults.

The controversial initiative was launched in December 2014 as part of President Obama’s executive actions on immigrants, and was touted as a way to bring illegal alien children from certain Central American countries into the United States to be reunited with their families, who are often here illegally themselves.  The move was allegedly designed to keep underage children from relying on dangerous human smugglers to bring them across the U.S. –Mexico border illegally.  Per the State Department:

The United States is establishing an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to provide a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States. This program will allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries. Children who are found ineligible for refugee admission but still at risk of harm may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis. The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States, but instead, the program will provide certain vulnerable, at-risk children an opportunity to be reunited with parents lawfully resident in the United States.

Immigrant Detention


And, like many government initiatives, the CAM program has been completely ineffective in slowing the number of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.  In fact, as MRC points out, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently reported that it apprehended 97% more unaccompanied illegal minors at the border this October than last year. 

On top of failing to provide much help to many child “refugees,” the CAM program hasn’t made a notable impact on the number of unaccompanied children and families who’ve elected to come into the United States illegally via the Mexican border – which is the very problem the initiative was supposedly created to alleviate.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports it apprehended another 4,973 unaccompanied illegal alien children (UACs) at the U.S.-Mexico border in October, up 97 percent from the 2,519 UACs that border agents apprehended in October of last year. That same month, the Obama administration released more than 6,000 illegal alien children to sponsors living in the United States.


CBP also caught another 6,029 family units crossing the Southwest U.S. border illegally during the month of October, a total 179 percent higher than the 2,162 family units the agency caught in October of last year. The border surge has increased so much, in fact, that officials are now warning the wave is already threatening to overwhelm their resources.


In fact, CBP data shows that since President Obama launched the costly CAM program in December 2014, nearly 100,000 unaccompanied alien children and more than 123,000 family units have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

But don't worry, even though the CAM program has been proven completely ineffective, it only cost taxpayers ~$1BN in 2016 so no big deal.