Local News

Durham mom hopes federal program helps bring son from El Salvador

Posted August 10, 2015 6:13 p.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2015 7:17 p.m. EDT

— Sixteen-year-old Melvin Perez lives in El Salvador, far from his mom, Ana Perez, who lives in Durham.

She recently moved into a new home, and a photo of her son was one of the first things to go on display.

"This is not a life," she said through an interpreter. "I am not happy or at peace if he is not with me."

She is hoping a new federal program – called the Central American Minors Refugee program – will help her bring her son home soon.

It gives some children in Central America a chance to reunite with their families in the United States without exposing them to the dangers of being smuggled across the border.

"I always fear what could happen to him on a journey like that," Ana Perez said.

To qualify, children must be under 21, from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras, and their parents must be in the United States legally.

The process involves substantial paperwork, interviews and DNA testing.

In a phone interview, Melvin said he needs to get out of El Salvador because of gang violence and to be with his mom. Now, he is waiting to waiting to find out if the government will grant him refugee status.

"My goals would be to study and then help my mom," the teen said.

CAM Refugee processing centers in North Carolina

Carolina Refugee Resettlement Agency
Address: 5007 Monroe Road,Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28205
Phone: 704-535-8803 Fax: 704-535-8806

CATHOLIC CHARITIES DIOCESE OF CHARLOTTE
Address: 1123 SOUTH CHURCH ST
CHARLOTTE, NC 28203-4003
Phone: 704-370-3277 Fax: 704-370-3370

Church World Service-IRP
Address: 112 S. Duke Street, Suite 4-B
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-680-4310 Fax: 919-680-4320

World Relief Durham
Address: 801 Gilbert Street #209
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-286-3496 Fax: 919-956-5918

Church World Service-IRP
Address: 620 S. Elm Street, Suite 315
Greensboro, NC 27406
Phone: 336-617-0381 Fax: 336-617-0654

NORTH CAROLINA AFRICAN SERVICES COALITION
Address: 122 N. ELM ST, SUITE 810
GREENSBORO, NC 27401
Phone: 336-574-2677 Fax: 336-574-2672

World Relief High Point
Address: 155 Northpoint Ave Suite 102
High Point, NC 27262
Phone: 336-887-9007 Fax: 336-887-5245

Diocese Of East Carolina Interfaith Refugee Ministry
Address: 1913 Trent Blvd.
New Bern, NC 28560
Phone: 252-633-9009 Fax: 252-638-7570

Lutheran Family Services In The Carolinas
Address: 616 Hutton Street
Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: 919-861-2813 Fax: 919-832-0591

USCRI NC
Address: 5 West Hargett Street
Suite 202
Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: 919-334-0072 Fax: 919-334-0077

East Carolina Interfaith Refugee Ministry - Wilmington
Address: 610A S. College Rd.
Wilmington, NC 28403
Phone: 910-264-7244 Fax: