WASHINGTON – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine went to the largest mass migration in Europe in decadeswhen more than 1.5 million people moved from Ukraine to neighboring countries – “the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II,” – said the head. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees tweeted on Sunday. Almost all the refugees left for other European countries, where they were greeted warmly. But some may eventually need permanent relocation to the United States if they are unable to return to Ukraine.
WHAT HAS THE US DONE TO HELP REFUGEES TIME?
The United States has provided $ 54 million in food and other aid to the people of Ukraine and has promised to send more, according to Samantha Power, head of United States Agency for International Development. This assistance is very important because the conditions in Ukraine are terrible and deteriorating. There is a shortage of food as millions of displaced people inside the country try to escape the Russian attack.
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced what it offers temporary protection status for Ukrainians already in the United States. Members of Congress and advocates welcomed the announcement, but the effects are modest. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that about 75,000 people are eligible to participate in the program, and it is only valid for 18 months if not extended. Moreover, the program leaves people in immigration suspension because beneficiaries do not necessarily convert their status to permanent legal residence or U.S. citizenship.
WILL THE UNITED STATES ARRIVE UKRAINIAN REFUGEES FOR SETTLEMENT?
It could. White House spokesman Jen Psaki says the United States will accept Ukrainian refugees. But the administration says at least for now, most refugees seem to want to stay in Europe. That’s where many have families, they can work and then come home if possible.
Earlier, the administration said it would take up to 125,000 refugees in the 2022 budget year. This annual limit has been reduced to a record low of 15,000 under President Donald Trump. Setting an annual target for refugees, the Biden administration has allocated 10,000 refugee visas for Europeans, but it could increase that number to accommodate more Ukrainians if needed. The White House has said it will work with the United Nations and European countries to determine whether people who have fled Europe will need permanent relocation to the United States or elsewhere.
The 125,000 do not include the 76,000 Afghans who arrived in the United States after the Americans withdrew from Afghanistan in August.
One thing the United States could do immediately to help Ukrainians is to expedite the consideration of several thousand members of religious minorities, including Jews and Evangelical Christians, who have families in the United States and have already applied for what is known as Lawtenberg. program.
CAN THE US REFUGEE SYSTEM SEE A NEW WAVE OF REFUGEES?
Yes, although, according to experts on refugee resettlement, it will not be easy.
The Trump administration has cut the refugee program, forcing resettlement agencies to lay off staff and close offices. For months, they struggled to help the tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who came after their country joined the Taliban, and the difficult problem was exacerbated by high housing prices and the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the difficulties, the U.S. can handle the arrival of more refugees, says Mark Hatfield, president and CEO of HIAS, one of nine national resettlement agencies.
“There is such an interest in helping these people that resources will be there, volunteers will be there,” Hatfield said. “It would be difficult because we are all too skinny. But we will definitely make it work. ”
Copyright 2022 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.