US unveils new sponsorship programme for Ukrainian refugees | Migration News

At identical time, Biden administration discourages Ukrainians from making an attempt to enter US by way of southern border with Mexico.

US President Joe Biden’s administration has introduced a brand new programme that it says will make it simpler for Ukrainian refugees to be resettled in america, because the Russian offensive of their dwelling nation continues.

In a press release on Thursday, the Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) mentioned the “new streamlined course of” will permit Ukrainians to use for humanitarian parole, a standing that doesn’t present a pathway to residency or citizenship, however permits folks to remain and work within the US for 2 years.

To be eligible for the programme, dubbed “Uniting for Ukraine”, they will need to have been residents in Ukraine as of February 11, have a sponsor – an individual or group – within the US, full COVID-19 vaccinations and move safety checks, the division mentioned. It’s formally launching on Monday.

The transfer got here after Biden introduced final month that the US would soak up as much as 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing the warfare.

Greater than 5 million folks> have fled Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an all-out invasion in late February, with most looking for refuge in neighbouring international locations in Europe.

“We’re proud to ship on President Biden’s dedication to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian aggression to america. The Ukrainian folks proceed to endure immense tragedy and loss on account of Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified assault on their nation,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned within the assertion on Thursday.

However on the identical time, the division discouraged Ukrainians from making an attempt to enter the US by way of its southern border with Mexico, the place hundreds of refugees have been amassing in makeshift camps and different services in current weeks.

US authorities had been permitting Ukrainian refugees in on the border on humanitarian grounds, exempting them from a restrictive coverage often called “Title 42” that has been used since 2020 to show away most different asylum seekers looking for US safety.

“Following the launch of Uniting for Ukraine [on Monday], Ukrainians who current at land US ports of entry with no legitimate visa or with out pre-authorization to journey to america by way of Uniting for Ukraine shall be denied entry and referred to use by way of this program,” DHS mentioned.

About 15,000 Ukrainian refugees have come to the US because the Russian invasion started, principally by way of Mexico, the Reuters information company reported.

Chatting with reporters on Thursday, Biden mentioned the brand new programme “will complement the present authorized pathways out there to Ukrainians, together with immigrant visas and refugee processing” and “present an expedient channel” for Ukrainians with a US sponsor to come back into the nation.

“This programme shall be quick; will probably be streamlined and can guarantee america honours its dedication to the folks of Ukraine,” the US president mentioned.

Most lately, the US has used humanitarian parole to assist carry hundreds of Afghans to the nation following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. However amid processing backlogs, advocates have urged Congress to move a regulation that may grant them everlasting residency.

Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, mentioned regardless of the way in which the Biden administration has characterised the brand new programme for Ukrainians, “it doesn’t seem like as simple because it appears to be like.”

“Whereas the US authorities is saying that is going to be streamlined, they’re going to expedite this, they’ve not created any new pathway for Ukrainian refugees to come back to america,” Halkett reported. “There are already some eyebrows being raised [as to] whether or not it’s nearly as good as america authorities is promoting it to be.”

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