As you know, earlier in March, we issued a statement on the crisis in Ukraine. The United Nations has estimated that 3.5 million Ukrainians have left their homes in search of safety and freedom from a dictatorship that is ravaging their country. As the crisis intensified, JEVS joined over 375 national and local organizations in urging the Biden Administration to expedite admissions for Ukrainian refugees with close family ties in the US. This is a process that has been used by prior administrations to admit Iraqis, Haitians, and Afghans during crises in their communities.
We are very proud to have joined this list of supporters at this critical time. You can read the final letter here, which has been delivered to the Administration. We encourage you to join us and lend your voice to this effort, you can send a message to the Administration via our partner HIAS by visiting their website here.
Our work with refugees is deeply rooted in our history and continues at our Center for New Americans (CNA). For some of us, it is also personal. In the words of Zoya Kravets, our CNA Director and former refugee client from the Ukraine, “There are no words to describe what we feel about Putin’s war. We are grateful that America, many decades ago, gave us a home, safety, and hope for a better life for us and our children. I hope that those who had to leave their homes will find safety in the US and soon become our clients and our extended family.”
The Biden Administration announced that the US would accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. Philadelphia is home to a large Ukrainian community and will no doubt be a beacon to others seeking a new start in the United States. We know this is a very small number versus the need and we will continue to encourage the Administration to increase the number of Ukrainians who can enter the United States as refugees.
We stand ready to support Ukrainians seeking safety in the US. There will certainly be more opportunities for action in the coming days and weeks, as well as chances to help closer to home.