Up to 2,700 children in Central America will be allowed to reunite with their parents living under protected status in the US, a court has ruled.
It follows a lawsuit that challenged the Trump administration’s cancellation of a programme that gave the children the right to join their parents.
The Central American Minors programme, closed in 2017, benefited children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Many of the parents have fled natural disasters and conflicts.
The case was brought against the government by 12 children and parent applicants to the Central American Minors programme and CASA, an organisation that supports immigrants.
Last month, a judge at the United States District Court in San Francisco ruled that the applications must be processed.
‘So many need to escape danger’
One of the parents identified as SA during the case had already spent thousands of dollars on plane tickets when the programme was cancelled.
She said in a statement: “My heart jumps and cries for joy because there are so many who need to escape danger. I have faith that I will be together with my daughter and grandson soon.”
Under the ruling, the government must finish processing children who were in the final stages of their application.
Linda Evarts, attorney at the International Refugee Assistance Project, said: “We are so pleased that after many years apart our clients will finally have the opportunity to reunite with each other in safety.”
According to the group, the government anticipates that most applicants will be approved for parole and allowed to travel to the US.
Last month, President Donald Trump cut off aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in a bid to push their governments to stop migration into the US.
There has been a huge increase in asylum seekers fleeing violence in the three countries. The three nations are where most of the migrants on the US southern border come from.