Biden Ukraine Refugees: President Joe Biden unveiled on Thursday a new program dubbed “Uniting for Ukraine” that will accelerate the immigration process for Ukrainian refugees seeking to enter the US.
The action comes about a month after Biden committed to admitting up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion and is intended to pique Ukrainians’ interest in coming to the United States sooner rather than later.
“This new humanitarian parole program will supplement Ukrainians’ existing legal options, such as immigration permits and refugee processes. It will offer Ukrainians with a US sponsor, such as a family or an NGO, a fast track to achieve lawful migration from Europe to the United States “While giving an update on Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, President Trump made the announcement.
Biden went on to say, “This is going to be a quick show. It will be simplified. It would also ensure that the US keeps its promise to travel to Ukraine’s people and that they do not have to cross our southern border.”
On Thursday, the President said that an additional $800 million in weaponry and other help would be sent to Ukraine as part of the administration’s latest attempts to bolster the country’s military against Russia’s incursion.
The humanitarian parole scheme, according to CNN, will require Ukrainians seeking access to the United States to be sponsored by a US citizen or individual, which might include resettlement agencies and non-profit organisations.
To be qualified, Ukrainian applicants must go through extensive security screening, including biographic and biometric screening, as well as fulfill vaccines and other public health criteria, including getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Ukrainians have to have lived in Ukraine as of February 11th.
Sponsors would have to pass their own security background checks and report financial assistance. Although there is no restriction on the number of people a person or group can sponsor, administration officials have stated that they will assess their resources and capacity to help Ukrainians. The program will be run by the Department of Homeland Security.
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated, “DHS will continue to give help to the Ukrainian people while supporting our European allies who have borne so much as a result of Russia’s cruel invasion of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian applicants would be allowed to travel to the United States and be assessed for humanitarian parole on a case-by-case basis for up to two years under this process. The persons would be eligible for work permits if they were accepted.
On April 25, individuals can start submitting applications using an internet portal.
Due to the limited access to the United States, hundreds of Ukrainians have traveled to Mexico, where it is simpler to obtain a visa, and then attempted to enter the country through land ports of entry.
According to US Customs and Border Protection data, more than 5,000 Ukrainians attempted to enter the US in March, including more than 3,200 at the southern border with Mexico.
On Thursday, a Homeland Security official emphasized that Ukrainians should not travel via Mexico in order to enter the United States.
“Ukrainians who appear at land U.S. ports of entry without a valid visa or without pre-authorization to travel to the United States through Uniting for Ukraine will be denied entrance and referred to apply through this program following the opening of Uniting for Ukraine,” according to DHS.
In addition to humanitarian parole, the State Department is working to expand its Refugee Admissions Program operations in Europe, with the goal of improving access to the Lautenberg program, which assists those fleeing religious persecution in the Soviet Union, as well as enhancing referral mechanisms for Ukrainians seeking permanent resettlement.
Since Russia’s incursion in late February, more than 5 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, welcomed the new program on Twitter. “We’re working with the Department of Homeland Security on Uniting for Ukraine,” he said in a statement, “a new parole process to welcome Ukrainian citizens fleeing Russia’s horrific war.”
No Russian Ships will be Allowed to Enter The United States
In response to the US moves against Russia during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Biden said on Thursday, “The Treasury Department announced new steps yesterday aimed at thwarting businesses and persons attempting to circumvent our unprecedented sanctions.
And today, I declared that Russian-affiliated ships will be barred from entering US ports.”
He went on to say, “That means that no ship sailing under the Russian flag, or owned or operated by Russian interests, will be permitted to land in a US port or enter our borders. There aren’t any.”
Putting our heads together for Ukraine
“Uniting for Ukraine is a streamlined process enabling Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by Russia’s actions to apply for humanitarian parole in the United States,” according to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
According to the DHS, Ukrainians must have lived in Ukraine as of February 11, 2022, have a sponsor in the United States, have completed vaccines and other public health requirements, and pass rigorous biometric and biographic screening and vetting security checks to be eligible for the program.
“Ukrainians who have been cleared through this process will be allowed to come to the United States and will be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for up to two years. Ukrainians will be eligible for work authorization once they have been paroled through this process “According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security.
This development comes after Biden authorized new military assistance worth $800 million for Ukraine against Russia.
Refugee activists have urged the Biden administration to establish a lawful passage to the United States and to provide permanent legal status to those who do arrive. They claim that humanitarian parole granted to Afghans fleeing the Taliban’s takeover last October failed to provide them with adequate safety and job security in the United States.