The crisis in Ukraine has quickly become the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. More than 3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the Russian invasion began last month, according to the country U.N.
The Biden administration also announced over $1 billion in new humanitarian aid funding for Ukraine, to be distributed in the coming months, along with an additional $320 million in “democracy and human rights funding for,” according to a statement Ukraine and Her Neighbors”. Since February 24, the US has provided more than $123 million to support humanitarian efforts in nearby European countries that have taken in displaced Ukrainians.
“We still assume that most displaced Ukrainian citizens want to be in neighboring countries or elsewhere in the EU where they may have family and where large diaspora communities already exist, hoping they can return home soon ‘ a senior administration official told reporters Thursday. “But at the same time, we recognize that some may wish to come to the United States.”
The White House has prioritized Ukrainians seeking family reunions in the US, along with LGBTQ people, journalists, dissidents and activists, three sources familiar with the talks told POLITICO earlier this week. The administration official also mentioned people with medical needs and third-country nationals who have already sought refuge outside of Ukraine in another country as candidates for an accelerated examination. Journalists and other members of these vulnerable groups have been targeted by Russian forces.
As of March 22, the U.S. has taken in 7,888 refugees for fiscal year 2022, according to the State Department. The annual refugee cap for fiscal 2022 is 125,000, a number Biden raised after backlash from Democrats. Ukrainian refugees do not count towards this number unless accepted through the refugee program, and the Biden administration does not expect the figure of 125,000 linked to Ukrainian refugees to need adjusting.
“This pledge of 100,000 is not necessarily tied to this fiscal year,” senior administration said. “It’s a broader commitment.”
Biden is in Brussels on Thursday for a NATO summit and a meeting of the European Council. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this month Biden would use his transatlantic trip to discuss ways to “provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence.”
Laura Barrón-López contributed to this report.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/03/24/us-ukrainian-refugees-00019978?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication US takes in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees