The White House announced this morning that the United States will admit up to 100,000 refugees due to Russia's war in Ukraine. According to United Nations estimates, over 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the conflict thus far. Of those 10 million plus, over 3.6 million of them have left Ukraine entirely. The majority of Ukrainians who have fled the country are headed for Poland, per the U.N.
"To meet this commitment we are considering the full range of legal pathways to the United States," a senior Biden administration official said. This range of legal pathways includes the U.S. refugee admissions program, humanitarian parole, immigrant visas, and non-immigrant visas. Further, the official stated that officials are “working in particular to expand and develop new programs with a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States.” The administration is also “committed to protecting the most vulnerable among the refugee populations that have already fled," the official added. Gay and transgender individuals, those with medical needs, journalists, and third-country nationals were among those mentioned as being more vulnerable.
Last year, President Joe Biden increased the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. to 125,000 in the 2022 fiscal year. This figure was significantly higher than the 15,000 annual refugee cap instituted by former President Donald Trump. As a result of the cap increase, the White House does not anticipate having to ask Congress to raise the current cap on annual refugees. "We still have a significant capacity within the 125,000 so we don't currently envision the need to go beyond that," the official said.
If you're interested in hearing more about all of the potential immigration options for Ukrainian refugees, please contact The Gillispie Law Firm.