US extends stay for Ukrainian refugees who entered via Mexico border

The Homeland Security Department headquarters is photographed.
The Associated Press/ Manuel Balce Ceneta
The Department of Homeland Security headquarters is photographed in northwest Washington.

The Biden administration is moving to extend the parole of Ukrainian refugees who were processed along the Mexican border after fleeing their native country at the beginning of its war with Russia in early 2022.

More than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the country through the “Uniting For Ukraine” initiative, which provides a two-year window to remain in the country. A similar number have entered the U.S. through other means, but less than 2,000 have been processed through the official U.S. refugee program.

The new effort by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will help some 20,000 Ukrainians who were processed along the southern border between February and April 2022 to sign up for the Uniting for Ukraine program, effectively extending their stay for another year, according to CBS News.

Refugees processed along the Mexican border were initially granted parole for 12 months, with their temporary permission to live in the U.S. set to expire this spring.

“As Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unprecedented humanitarian crisis it has caused continue, DHS assesses that there remain urgent humanitarian reasons, as well as a significant public benefit, for extending the parole of certain Ukrainians and family members on a case-by-case basis to align with the parole provided under Uniting for Ukraine,” DHS spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández told The Hill. 

Hernández noted that Ukrainian refugees can still pursue other immigration pathways, such as applying for asylum or Temporary Protected Status (TPS). 

He also noted that individuals who have their parole extended will also have their employment authorization extended “for a commensurate period of time.” 

Millions of Ukrainians fled their country early in the war, with the largest group settling down across the border in Poland. However, hundreds of thousands found their way to other European countries, Canada and the U.S.

Last month marked a full year since Russia invaded Ukraine, which has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths, tens of thousands of military casualties on both sides, and the displacement of more than 8.1 million Ukrainian citizens.

Tags Department of Homeland Security Joe Biden Mexican border Russia-Ukraine conflict The Biden Administration Ukrainian refugees

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