The United States announced that it will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees trying to get away from the war. This is according to senior administration officials. However, the official expects that a majority of refugees will remain in Europe.
Many Legal Pathways For Ukrainian Refugees
The administration official said that the United States can offer Ukrainian refugees a number of legal pathways for US citizenship. This includes the US refugee admissions program, parole, and immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.
Meanwhile, around 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled their country to avoid the war. This is according to data from the UN refugee agency released last Tuesday. The majority of these Ukrainian refugees fled to neighboring countries in Eastern Europe.
No Need To Ask Congress For Increased Cap
The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the White House won't ask Congress to increase the current cap on annual refugees.
For the fiscal year 2022, the cap is set at 125,000. The number is more of a long-term commitment and Ukrainian refugees will have other avenues to explore. “We still have a significant capacity within the 125,000 so we don't currently envision the need to go beyond that,” the official said.
Despite its open arms to Ukrainians fleeing the violence, the White House reiterated that many refugees will choose to remain within Europe.
Also, this allows them to remain close to family and friends back home. Instead, the administration will work on developing programs that welcome refugees who have family members in the US.
Emphasis On Most Vulnerable Community Members
In addition, the official said that the US programs will place an emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable among the refugees. This includes members of the LGBTQ!+ community, journalists, third country nationals, and those with special medical needs.
Meanwhile, helping the marginalized refugees will “help relieve some of the pressure on the European host countries,” the official said. The European countries currently shoulder much of the responsibility right now.
Biden Arrives in Poland
The announcement to process Ukrainian refugees comes ahead of President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit to Poland.
The trip aims to highlight the problematic refugee crisis that began when Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Earlier, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Poland where President Andrzej Duda asked her to help with the refugee crisis.
Duda asked Harris to help speed up the process of accepting refugees with family in the US. He said that Poland is currently straining for the cost of accommodating the influx of refugees. Poland, however, remains committed to opening its borders to its neighbor.
Poland already reported more than two million Ukrainians crossing the border. However, not all refugees chose to remain in Poland.
Many continued on their journey to reach other European countries. To help, Biden recently signed a spending bill providing $4 billion in humanitarian assistance.
Watch the ABC News video reporting that the United States to accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees:
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