Humanitarian Parole Program for Displaced Ukrainians Must Include Robust Protection and Support Services

April 12, 2022

CWS urges the Biden administration to provide families fleeing Ukraine with access to refugee resettlement services

Washington, DC — In response to reports that the Biden administration is considering a parole program to expedite welcoming displaced Ukrainians with U.S. ties, CWS urges the administration to maximize the use of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and other immigrant pathways to provide more sustainable protection for those at-risk. These pathways should be made immediately available to Ukrainians and other third country nationals, like African refugees, displaced by the Russian aggression and violence. CWS Director of Policy and Advocacy Meredith Owen issued the following response:

“Families running for their lives need much more than temporary legal status. We urge the Biden administration to ensure refugees arriving in the United States also receive the support services they need to thrive, including U.S. resettlement for particularly vulnerable refugees impacted by this crisis. Any plan to provide humanitarian parole must also include a plan to provide vital services such as healthcare, employment services, help enrolling children in schools and other case management support.

“We must live out our promise to protect the most vulnerable in Ukraine and all refugees seeking safety in the United States. The U.S. must also fulfill its promises to at-risk Afghans left behind and other host countries to strengthen the U.S. resettlement program and reunite refugee families, particularly for refugees who have been languishing in the referral pipeline such as Eritreans, Rohingya, Syrians, and others. We also urge President Biden to extend similar protections to other at-risk refugees, including those who have fled their homes in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Mauritania.” 

Last week, Refugee Council USA (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’ recommendations for the U.S. humanitarian response to Ukraine. CWS further calls on the administration to expand resettlement of at-risk Afghans who remain overseas, including in Afghanistan and other host countries, and urges Congress to immediately pass an Afghan Adjustment Act so that Afghan evacuees have an opportunity to apply to become lawful permanent residents. President Biden must prioritize ensuring that all those fleeing violence and persecution can build the futures they deserve.