Thousands of Central American children to be reunited after settlement

Thousands of children in Central America are expected to be reunited with their parents residing legally in the U.S. following a settlement with the Trump administration announced Friday.
 
Under terms of the settlement reached with the families, the U.S. would agree to process approximately 2,700 individuals who were conditionally approved under an Obama-era program before it was terminated by the Trump administration in 2017.
 
The Central American Minors program began at the end of 2014 amid an influx in Central American migrant families arriving at the U.S. border. It allowed parents who were residing in the U.S. under protected status to request a refugee classification for their children living in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The Trump administration's decision was later challenged in a lawsuit.
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A federal judge in San Francisco ruled in December that the government's revocation of the conditionally approved applications was against the law. Last month, that judge ordered the administration to resume processing the applications under the program.
 
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), a group that represented the plaintiffs, said the settlement requires that the government finish processing children whose applications were in the final stages when the program was canceled.
 
The settlement announced Friday must still be approved by a judge, Reuters noted.
 
"We are so pleased that after many years apart our clients will finally have the opportunity to reunite with each other in safety. These families belong together here in the United States, and we are hopeful this settlement will allow for their swift reunification," Linda Evarts, a staff attorney with IRAP, said in a statement.