URGENT: Urge Congress & ​​the Biden Administration to Welcome Ukrainians, Protect Refugees, and Rebuild the U.S. Resettlement Program

April 22, 2022

On April 21, the Biden administration announced “Uniting for Ukraine,” a new humanitarian parole program to expedite welcoming displaced Ukrainians with U.S. ties. Uniting for Ukraine aims to provide access to humanitarian parole for 100,000 Ukrainians, and certain foreign nationals living in Ukraine, impacted by the ongoing Russian invasion. The administration must maximize the use of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and other immigrant pathways to provide sustainable protection for at-risk individuals and families. These pathways should be made immediately available to Ukrainians and other third country nationals, like African refugees, displaced by the Russian aggression and violence. With more than 5.6 million refugees who have fled Ukraine since February 24th, we must live out our promise to protect vulnerable Ukrainians, and third country nationals, like African refugees, who had been displaced to Ukraine, and all refugees seeking safety in the United States.

Vulnerable individuals and families who are fleeing conflict and persecution deserve a safe place to call home. Now is a critical time to see that our national leaders provide Ukrainians arriving with humanitarian parole vital resettlement services, such as healthcare, job training, help enrolling children in schools, and other case management support. The U.S. must also fulfill its promises to at-risk Afghans left behind by continuing relocation efforts for Afghans overseas, create a designated parole program for Afghan nationals, and enact an Afghan Adjustment Act. We also urge President Biden to utilize and strengthen the U.S. resettlement program — and extend similar protections to other at-risk refugees, particularly for refugees who have been languishing in the referral pipeline such as Eritreans, Rohingya, Syrians, and others.

Urge Congress to Protect Refugees
Please contact your 2 Senators and 1 Representative today using the sample script below.

Sample Script: “I’m your constituent from [insert city/county], and [as a person of faith/a refugee/community member], I urge you to stand with and protect all vulnerable and displaced Ukrainians and at-risk populations — as well as non-Ukrainians, like African refugees, who previously sought protection in Ukraine. In light of the Biden administration’s plans to establish a humanitarian parole program to expedite welcome for displaced Ukrainians with U.S. ties, we urge you to authorize those new arrivals to receive the full resettlement services, such as healthcare, employment services, help enrolling children in schools and other case management support, and provide supplemental funding for this purpose. Any plan to provide humanitarian parole must also include a plan to provide vital services.

The administration must also maximize the use of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) — for displaced populations impacted by the hostilities in Ukraine, as well as for vulnerable refugees who have been waiting for resettlement in the United States for years. It is equally important that the administration expands relocations and resettlement of at-risk Afghans who remain overseas, including in Afghanistan and other host countries. We urge you to hold the Biden administration accountable to:

  • Utilize the USRAP and immigrant pathways for displaced populations impacted by the hostilities in Ukraine, including both Ukrainians and third country nationals, in addition to any plan for parole;
  • Boldly rebuild the U.S. resettlement program to resettle refugees languishing in precarious situations like at-risk Afghans, Eritreans, Syrians, Cameroonians, Rohingya, Ethiopians, among others; and
  • Create a designated parole program for Afghans — and continue relocating at-risk Afghans who are left behind.

Finally, we urge Congress to pass an Afghan Adjustment Act as part of the next must-pass legislation. President Biden must prioritize ensuring that all those fleeing violence and persecution can build the futures they deserve. Thank you.”

Amplify on Social Media: Click here for a digital toolkit with sample social media posts and graphics, and click here for additional graphics. Below are sample posts:

  • .@POTUS humanitarian parole alone is not enough. Ukrainians also need resettlement services to ensure their security. #RebuildingWelcome #BeAWelcomer #PermanentPathways
  • .@POTUS: #RebuildingWelcome means investing in ALL systems of support for ALL displaced people. #BeAWelcomer #PermanentPathways
  • .@POTUS should use ALL systems available to welcome Ukrainians – including #USRAP (The United States Refugee Admissions Program). #RebuildingWelcome.

Donate: CWS is establishing the Ukraine Crisis Response Fund to offer humanitarian assistance to people displaced as a result of the violence and bolster partners in Europe to serve the most vulnerable. Click here to donate, and amplify this appeal on social media via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For more information, click here.

Resources: CWS’s statement on the announcement of a parole program for Ukrainians with U.S. ties is available here, and the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA)’s statement is here. On April 5th, RCUSA urged the administration to utilize and rebuild the U.S. resettlement program to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians, as promised by President Biden, and called for providing the full suite of resettlement and case management services for displaced populations we welcome, including Ukrainians who enter the U.S. with humanitarian parole. These are in addition to CWS’s recommendations for the U.S. humanitarian response to Ukraine.

Additional Resources:

We mourn the suffering that mass displacement and humanitarian crisis have caused and acknowledge the pain of Ukrainians and Ukrainian Americans here in the U.S. who fear for their loved ones overseas. Our prayers are with our Ukrainian siblings, their loved ones, and all who aid in their protection. Now is a critical time to take action. CWS previously commended the administration’s announcement on March 3rd that it would designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), supported the President’s budget request to supplement our response to the humanitarian crisis, and praised Congress’s supplemental funding package for U.S. humanitarian efforts overseas.

Thank you for taking action, and please share this alert with your network!