President Joe Biden told Ukrainian refugees trying to enter the US they don’t have to pass through the country’s south border. He emphasized that displaced Ukrainians have access to a special visa system extended by the United States.
No Need To Enter The US Through The South Border
Earlier, the President gave a pledge to admit up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war in their home country. Russia invaded its neighbor back in late February this year, claiming it only wants to help de-nazify Ukraine.
With reports surfacing that some Ukrainians try to enter the country through its border with Mexico. Around 15,000 Ukrainians already made it to the US, with most traveling through the south border.
However, the recent administration announcement means that border officials will no longer accept migrants arriving at south border checkpoints.
Instead, Ukrainian refugees can apply to enter the US on humanitarian grounds. “We have made a direct means by which they can get from Europe, from Ukraine directly to the United States, without going to the southern border,” Biden said.
He announced the development after delivering a speech announcing new aid for Ukraine’s efforts to preserve its independence.
‘Uniting For Ukraine’
Earlier last week, Biden unveiled a special immigration system that allows Ukrainian refugees to enter the country on humanitarian grounds.
However, this will require an American sponsor living in the US. The program, named “Uniting for Ukraine,” provides a streamlined process for refugees fleeing the ongoing war with Russia.
The system won’t be as easy as most people think. Ukrainian only applicants will need to undergo a battery of rigorous screening and checks. They will also need to complete vaccinations and other public health requirements, including getting cleared from COVID.
In addition, applicants need to be Ukraine residents as of February 11. The program started accepting Ukrainian applications via an online portal last April 25.
Sponsors Require Background Checks As Well
The Department of Homeland Security will administer the Uniting for Ukraine program. Americans sponsoring Ukrainian refugees will also need to undergo security checks.
They will also need to declare that they can financially afford to support refugees. The program does not limit sponsors on how many asylum seekers they can sponsor.
However, officials will check if they actually have the means to support the people they sponsor.
Sponsors would need to pass security background checks of their own as well as declare financial support.
There is not a limit on the number of individuals that a person or group can sponsor, but administration officials noted they’ll be evaluating their means and ability to support Ukrainians.
The Department of Homeland Security will administer the program.
Ukrainians Forced to Use the US South Border
Previously, limited pathways forced a number of refugees to travel to Mexico and try to enter the US from there. According to US Customs and Border Protection data, around 5,000 Ukrainians attempted to enter the US in March. 3,200 of them used the US south border to do so.
Later, Biden reminded Ukrainians that there’s no need to troop to Mexico to receive passage to the US. “We’re trying to work through and make sure there’s an orderly process and they’re able to get in.
But just so you know, we have said there’s no need to go to the southern border. Fly directly to the United States,” Biden said. “We set up a mechanism whereby they can come directly with a visa.”
Watch the TODAY news video reporting that Ukrainian refugees are trying to get Into the US from the Mexico border:
What do you think of the country’s special program for Ukrainian refugees wanting to go to the US? Does the war in Ukraine justify the special treatment for Ukrainian refugees?
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