WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has set off the biggest mass migration in Europe in a long time, with greater than 1.5 million folks having crossed from Ukraine into neighboring international locations — “the quickest rising refugee disaster in Europe since World Battle II,” the top of the U.N. refugee company tweeted on Sunday. Almost all of the refugees have gone to different international locations in Europe, the place they’ve typically encountered a heat welcome. However some might ultimately want everlasting resettlement in america if they’re unable to return to Ukraine.
A take a look at the scenario:
WHAT HAS THE U.S. DONE TO HELP REFUGEES SO FAR?
The U.S. has supplied $54 million in meals and different help to folks inside Ukraine and has pledged to ship extra, in line with Samantha Energy, head of the U.S. Company for Worldwide Growth. That help is important as a result of circumstances in Ukraine are horrific and rising worse. Meals is scarce as tens of millions of displaced folks contained in the nation attempt to escape the Russian assault.
On Thursday, the Biden administration introduced it could supply non permanent protected standing to Ukrainians already inside america. Members of Congress and advocates welcomed the announcement, however the results are modest. The Division of Homeland Safety estimates that about 75,000 individuals are eligible for this system and it’s solely good for 18 months except prolonged. Furthermore, this system leaves folks in immigration limbo as a result of beneficiaries can’t essentially convert their standing into everlasting authorized residency or U.S. citizenship.
WILL THE U.S. BE TAKING IN UKRAINIAN REFUGEES FOR RESETTLEMENT?
It’d. White Home spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the U.S. would settle for Ukrainian refugees. However the administration says that, for now not less than, many of the refugees apparently wish to keep in Europe. That is the place many have households, they will work after which return residence if that’s doable sooner or later.
The administration beforehand mentioned it could settle for as much as 125,000 refugees within the 2022 price range yr. That annual cap had been reduce to a document low 15,000 beneath President Donald Trump. In setting the annual goal for refugees, the Biden administration put aside 10,000 refugee visas for folks from Europe, nevertheless it may develop that quantity to soak up extra Ukrainians if wanted. The White Home has mentioned it’ll work with the United Nations and European international locations to find out whether or not individuals who have fled Europe will want everlasting resettlement within the U.S. or elsewhere.
The 125,000 doesn’t embrace the 76,000 Afghans who got here to america after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.
One factor the U.S. may do instantly to assist Ukrainians can be to expedite the processing of a number of thousand members of non secular minority teams, together with Jews and evangelical Christians, who’ve household in america and have already utilized to come back beneath what’s often known as the Lautenberg program.
CAN THE U.S. REFUGEE SYSTEM ABSORB A NEW WAVE OF REFUGEES?
Sure, though it will not be simple, in line with refugee resettlement specialists.
The Trump administration cuts to the refugee program pressured resettlement businesses to put off employees and shut places of work. They’ve been struggling for months to assist the tens of 1000’s of Afghan refugees who got here after their nation fell to the Taliban, and a posh downside was made extra so by excessive housing prices and the coronavirus pandemic.
Regardless of the difficulties, the U.S. may deal with the arrival of extra refugees, says Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, one of many nation’s 9 resettlement businesses.
“There’s a lot curiosity in serving to these people who the sources can be there, the volunteers can be there,” Hetfield mentioned. “It could be a problem as a result of we’re all stretched too skinny. However we’d undoubtedly make it work.”