The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is following the distressing events unfolding in Ukraine closely. Our hearts are with the people of Ukraine during this difficult situation. The humanitarian implications of the aggressions against the Ukrainian people should be the main priority in the response by the United States and the international community.
We are appalled to see the escalation of the conflict in recent hours and are deeply concerned about casualties and potential mass displacement as there have been reports of Ukrainians beginning to flee to nearby European neighbors such as Poland and Moldova. We commend the humanitarian efforts that are already underway to protect Ukrainian refugees.
"We see the situation in Ukraine with great worry and hope for a prompt resolution to the conflict," said USCRI CEO and President Eskinder Negash. "Our thoughts are with all Ukrainians who are currently fleeing their country or seeking shelter. Everyone deserves to live with dignity and safety, free of violence and persecution."
In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent armed conflict and extraordinary conditions, USCRI calls upon the Biden administration to immediately designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and Special Student Relief (SSR) for Ukraine. These protections would provide work permits and protection from deportation for Ukrainian noncitizens in the United States who cannot be safely returned to Ukraine at this time.
We call on the international community to do everything in its power to avoid a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.
USCRI and other partner agencies are circulating a letter for sign-on from advocacy organizations to support TPS or DED, and SSR. We have also published a backgrounder on Ukraine that provides information on the disputed Donbas territory and the historical roots for the conflict today.
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