USCRI Statement on Uniting for Ukraine Program

By USCRI April 26, 2022

USCRI is heartened by the Biden Administration’s willingness to provide safety to some of the nearly 6.5 million Ukrainians and other third-country nationals displaced by the Russian invasion and the swift action it has taken to do so. The Biden Administration released news of a parole program, Uniting for Ukraine, where Ukrainians with familial, community or organizational sponsors can seek temporary refuge in the United States. This follows a previous announcement made in March that the United States would welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

As we have seen with the use of parole in the context of Afghans after the fall of Kabul, the protection it provides does not extend to the provision of benefits and services to which refugees who are admitted through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) are entitled, nor does it provide a clear pathway to permanent residency for those who desire to stay in this country long-term. In order for Ukrainians admitted through the parole program to be eligible for benefits, Congress must provide funding authorization. The Biden Administration has also stated that it will mobilize USRAP for vulnerable Ukrainians who would benefit from permanent resettlement and offer more resources to process Lautenberg applicants. USCRI encourages the Biden Administration to utilize USRAP whenever applicable.

“We urge Congress to step-up and authorize the provision of benefits and services for Ukrainian parolees,” said USCRI President and CEO Eskinder Negash. “Ukrainians will need financial, resettlement, and community support when they arrive in the United States that we cannot expect individual or organizational sponsors to provide alone.”

In addition to the 100,000 Ukrainians, we’ve pledged to welcome into the country, we ask the Administration to extend protections through potential designated parole programs, and the USRAP to at-risk Afghans, Ethiopians, Syrians, Rohingya, and others attempting to seek refuge in the United States, who have been waiting years to be processed into the country.

USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.

For press inquiries, please contact: [email protected].

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