President Joe Biden announced Thursday the creation of a new humanitarian parole program for Ukrainians fleeing their country because of Russia’s invasion.
Additional Information: Uniting for Ukraine will be administered by DHS and will supplement existing legal pathways for coming to the U.S., including immigrant visas and refugee processing. In a statement, DHS said the U.S. “strongly encourages Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States who do not have and are not eligible for a visa to seek entry via Uniting for Ukraine from Europe, this will be the safest and most efficient way to pursue temporary refuge in the United States.”
The State Department has also pledged additional resources, including resources to process Ukrainian citizens for refugee resettlement under the Lautenberg Program. It will also expand mechanisms for referrals to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and broaden access, where possible, to nonimmigrant visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates in Europe. Consular sections will ensure individuals with humanitarian, medical or other extraordinary circumstances have access to expedited visa appointments.
BAL Analysis: Thursday’s announcement came after President Biden pledged on March 24 to welcome up to 100,000 individuals fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. has taken a number of steps to help Ukrainian nationals, including designating Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), suspending some employment authorization requirements for certain students from Ukraine and exempting some individuals traveling from Ukraine from COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements. BAL will continue to follow the administration’s response to the crisis in Ukraine and will provide updates as information becomes available.
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