President Obama has approved a plan to allow several thousand young children from Central American countries to apply for refugee status in the United States. The action provides a legal path for them to join family members already living in the U.S., according to White House officials. The program is designed to discourage many children from making a long and dangerous journey across Mexico in an attempt to join their parents in the U.S. It provides the children a way to determine if they qualify as refugees, without leaving their countries, which include Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In August, more than 3,000 children crossed the border into the U.S., down from more than 10,000 in June.