Putin’s invasion of Ukraine created 5 million refugees

Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch an invasion of Ukraine has created 5 million refugees, according to the latest reports. Refugees live mainly in Europe. The United States accepted Ukrainians who applied for humanitarian parole with American sponsors. Military experts expect the Russian military to continue its attempt to seize and control Ukrainian territory. The US government and other authorities should consider long-term resettlement options for Ukrainians who are unlikely to be able to return to their country for years.

Staggering numbers: “As of today, UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] estimates that there are at least 4.8 million refugees present across Europe, and more than 3.2 million Ukrainian refugees have registered for temporary protection or similar national protection programs in Europe,” according to a UNHCR report from June 10, 2022. Poland has been particularly welcoming to Ukrainian refugees.

The Biden administration has developed a US initiative for Ukrainians seeking protection. “On April 21, 2022, the United States announced a key step toward fulfilling President Biden’s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS). “Uniting for Ukraine offers Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States a pathway to come to the United States and stay there temporarily for a two-year period of parole. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States.

The latest numbers received from USCIS (as of June 9, 2022) are:

Approximately 51,000 U4Us [Uniting for Ukraine] requests for support have been received.

· 31,000 valid travel authorizations currently issued by USCIS. (Note: The total number of travel authorizations issued since the start of the Uniting for Ukraine program is approximately 40,000, meaning existing travel authorizations plus U4U arrivals.)

· Approximately 9,000 U4U parolees have arrived in the United States.

The Biden administration has also designated Ukrainians eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Russian Genocide Attempt in Ukraine: As the war progressed, the actions and statements of the Russian government made it clear that Russia was trying to destroy Ukraine as an independent entity and eliminate its culture and its political and other prominent figures. level in Ukrainian society.

“Russia is responsible for inciting genocide and committing atrocities that show an ‘intent to destroy’ the Ukrainian people, concludes a new legal analysis signed by more than 30 independent experts,” according to the Washington Post (May 27, 2022). The report, published by the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington and the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights in Montreal, also concludes that there is a “serious risk of genocide in Ukraine” and that states have an obligation legal to prevent genocide from occurring.

Evidence of Russian atrocities and attempts to control Ukraine as much as possible through military conquest has accumulated. Vladimir Putin has now compared his efforts in Ukraine to those of Peter the Great, who “returned” land to Russia. Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul Remarks Putin’s earlier argument that Russia should invade Ukraine mainly because NATO had accepted more members over the past two decades has been exposed as a talking point or propaganda intended to divide Western opinion . He Explain that Putin admits that the goal has always been to seize land and destroy Ukrainian sovereignty. Mc Faul pointed out that if Putin feared that NATO was planning to attack Russia, he would not weaken the country’s defenses by losing military equipment and tens of thousands of troops in eastern Ukraine.

“Russia has taken a number of other steps to exercise administrative and cultural control over the Ukrainian regions it has occupied,” report Dan Lamothe and Claire Parker of Washington Post. “Russian officials reportedly plan to train teachers in eastern Ukraine using Russian curricula, according to the pro-Moscow Ukrainian news site. Strana. And occupation authorities in Mariupol, the southern port city captured by Russian forces last month, have begun introducing Russian textbooks into schools.

The Russian invasion destroyed many lives. “Misha Rohozhyn, a Ukrainian teenager with Down syndrome, escaped from beleaguered Mariupol as his mother weaved a motivational fantasy that his pro-wrestler hero John Cena was at the end of their dangerous journey out of Ukraine,” reported the the wall street journal. “After arriving in the Netherlands last month, Misha, a 19-year-old unable to speak, remained in his room, disoriented by his new surroundings and angry with his mother because they had not found Mr. Cena. When Mr. Cena got out of a car on Saturday wearing his World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. outfit, Ms. Rohozhyna started crying. (See here for a video.)

Long-term U.S. refugee policy: Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), works in Lviv, Ukraine, to help refugees. He applauds the use of private sponsors but wants Ukrainians to be admitted as refugees rather than parolees because of their different treatment under US immigration law.

“The private and community sponsorship is great, something that’s happening in the context of parole efforts in Afghanistan and Ukraine,” Hetfield said. He also advocates using community sponsorships through the refugee program. “By using parole, we are bringing refugees here without the pathway to lawful permanent residence and citizenship that refugees are provided by refugee law.”

Hetfield recommends using the Lautenberg Amendment standard for interviewing Ukrainians inside and outside the United States for refugee status. “Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious followers identified in the Lautenberg Amendment. . . with close family in the United States. . . are considered on a reduced standard of proof to establish a well-founded fear of persecution,” according to the State Department.

“Lautenberg refugees, unlike Uniting for Ukraine parolees, are eligible for assistance from a resettlement agency upon arrival in the United States, as well as to apply for a green card after one year and citizenship four years later,” Hetfield said. “By definition, virtually everyone eligible to claim refugee status under Lautenberg is also eligible for the U4U program. Unite for Ukraine is much faster but offers no path to a green card or citizenship.

“While refugee claims have almost always been adjudicated overseas and not in the United States (with the exception of the thousands of Kosovars brought here by the United States government in 1999, who completed processing refugees on American soil), there is nothing in the law to prevent refugee status from being granted inside the United States for someone who arrives here on humanitarian condition.

Where to donate: For those looking to donate to relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees, organizations on the ground in Ukraine and helping refugees seeking protection inside and outside the country include HIAS, Catholic Relief Services, International Rescue Committee, World Central Kitchen and Acted.

Look forward: With no evidence that Russia will soon end its invasion, analysts expect a long war. Ukrainian officials and citizens have said that if Russia stops fighting, the war will end. But if Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine will end. Returning to Ukraine is unlikely to be a viable option for many war-displaced families. It is time to plan for the long-term resettlement of refugees, including those admitted on parole.

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Post expires at 1:33pm on Thursday June 23rd, 2022