The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the launch of a program designed to receive 100,000 Ukrainians in the United States (USA). The program is called United for Ukraine It was celebrated by human rights defenders, although they criticized the way Ukrainians would be accepted into the country.
how will you work United for Ukraine?
Under the new program, Ukrainians will enter the United States under a channel operated by the Department of Homeland Security, known as “humanitarian parole,” which is unrelated to the US Department of State’s Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
- USRAP is the consortium of federal agencies and NGOs normally responsible for identifying, accepting, and processing refugees for resettlement in the country.
- Ukrainians entering through parole on humanitarian grounds may not receive refugee benefits accepted under USRAP, which include a pathway to citizenship, a work permit, and a method of reuniting relatives abroad.
- Nor does parole on humanitarian grounds guarantee access to health care or other safety nets, causing a heavy financial burden on this already vulnerable population.
- United for Ukraine Individuals and entities in the United States will be allowed to be Shepherds of Ukrainians residing in Eastern European countries. Likewise, those who wish to enter the country under this number must complete vaccinations and health requirements.
- Once those requirements are met, they will be able to travel to apply for humanitarian parole, which will be granted for two years, according to the Department of Homeland Security. When granted, they will be eligible for a business license.
Disadvantages of USRAP
According to the review timeThe fact that the Biden administration decided to use the parole number on humanitarian grounds highlights the dysfunctions of the USRAP refugee resettlement program.
- Since Trump’s entry, the number of refugees accepted has fallen to historically low levels. During fiscal year 2021, still in the Trump era, admission was limited to 15,000 refugees.
- Under the Biden administration, the cap for the 2022 fiscal year has been raised to 125,000 refugees, but at the current rate of processing, it is on track to accept only 20,000, according to the nonpartisan research organization, the Immigration Policy Institute.
- With this delay, USCIS, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, became the de facto handler of refugees for the US government.
Human rights defenders’ concerns
Melanie Nezer, vice president of global public affairs at HIAS, a refugee resettlement organization, welcomed the new program but warned of problems ahead.
- “Union for Ukraine will be an important mechanism to allow Ukrainians to reunite their loved ones in the United States, but it is not a panacea,” he said in a public statement on April 21.
- He added that the use of the parole clause on humanitarian grounds “creates another group of people forced to live in limbo, without any sense of permanence.”
- In this way, he indicated that, from HIAS, he would continue to urge the administration to trust the USRAP to respond to the humanitarian emergency, “rather than using parole, a system that is wholly inadequate to ensure that newcomers have access to support and a sense of choice and control over their own future offered through resettlement.” “.
- The Department of Homeland Security noted that “Union for Ukraine” is complementary to other refugee-related operations, but the Vice President of International Humanitarian Aid questioned why the United States would choose to use humanitarian parole to prosecute displaced people rather than go through the refugee admissions program.
With information from: time