Nearly 6,000 Ukrainians have received temporary residency in US through new program
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has approved the applications of some 6,000 Ukrainians seeking to temporarily live in the U.S. following the Russian invasion.
DHS announced Monday it had given the initial authorizations out of more than 19,000 applications through its United for Ukraine program, with more travel authorizations expected in the coming days.
The program is a form of humanitarian patrol that allows for the temporary waiving of immigration requirements for two years.
The program was announced in late April as more than 5 million Ukrainians fled the country as refugees.
The Biden administration expects the bulk of its pledge to accept 100,000 Ukrainians refugees will be met through the parole program.
“We’ve heard widely from Ukrainians that they really are seeking kind of temporary refuge in the U.S. with family, with other individuals they have connections with,” the official said.
They noted that among those already fleeing, many have settled in nearby Poland and have been hesitant to travel further west and become more distanced from male relatives aged 18 to 65, who have been prohibited from leaving Ukraine.
“They are quite keen to stay near Ukraine to return as soon as possible,” the official said.
The program has come under some criticism, however, as it requires Ukrainians to secure financial sponsors in order to qualify.
It also largely ended the opportunity for Ukrainians to cross into the U.S. via the border with Mexico.
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