President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration has put on hold the entrance of some minors fleeing violence in Central America.
The order signed Friday stopped for 120 days a program that helped a small group: children feeling violence in Central American countries who had a parent or a relative already living in the U.S.
Applicants were screened while still in their home country under the program, which was started in 2014 under President Obama, with the goal of stopping the flow of unaccompanied minors from illegally crossing the border.
According to the State Department, about 2,000 of some 11,000 applicants were granted entry since the Central American Minors Program was enacted.
The pause on the program potentially means more minors trying to make the trip alone. Paola Núñez, who helps run a shelter in Mexico City for Central American children and teenagers, remains optimistic. She says she hopes her shelter will still be able to help some young people go to school or find a vocational job in Mexico City.
“We see it as an opportunity,” Núñez says.