The IRC welcomes the Biden Administration’s announcement today of the Uniting for Ukraine effort, which creates a streamlined process for Ukrainians with US-based sponsors to request entry into the US as an important step to meeting the administration’s commitment to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. The IRC also welcomes the administration’s announcement of increased refugee processing capacity in the region. This leadership is necessary and urgent during the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, as over 5 million Ukrainians flee the country and another 7 million are displaced internally. 

These extraordinary steps show the need for ambitious and agile humanitarian reception programs that are able to equitably and rapidly respond to crises. With this announcement, we are reminded of the over 1.4 million refugees in need of resettlement worldwide and the over 1.7 million expulsions from the U.S. under the Title 42 policy. The U.S. must work to provide refugees with permanent, durable solutions to their displacement, whether they are Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s act of aggression, Afghans evacuated after the U.S. withdrawal, asylum-seekers fleeing violence in Northern Central America, or Syrians who have been displaced for years due to conflict. 

The IRC urges the Biden Administration to double down on its commitment to rebuild the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to be truly robust and agile enough to respond to rapidly emerging crises now and in the future, and to keep their commitment to repeal the Title 42 order which blocks asylum-seekers from seeking protection at the U.S. southern border.

Hans Van de Weerd, Interim Senior Vice President for Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration, said,

“We welcome the emergency protection efforts for Ukrainians announced today by the Biden Administration, with millions of people fleeing the country in dire need of protection. There is a groundswell of bipartisan support across America to welcome refugees, whether they hail from Afghanistan, Ukraine, or other regions of the world. It is imperative that all refugees seeking protection are afforded durable, permanent solutions to their displacement on an equitable basis. All refugees fleeing conflict and natural disaster deserve viable pathways to safety.”