The Biden administration, per a source cited in an NBC News report, will allow for entry via a number of options, including the Refugee Admissions Program. Other avenues mentioned in the report, which also said that initial plans should be announced later on Thursday, include nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. Those in Ukraine who presently have family in the U.S., meanwhile, are expected to be prioritized as part of the larger strategy. A subsequent Associated Press report cited an unnamed U.S. official as also mentioning the plans.
U.S. law states that a person is qualified as a refugee if they reside outside the country, are of “special humanitarian concern,” demonstrate persecution, are not “firmly resettled” elsewhere, and are otherwise allowed within the U.S. The Biden administration’s expected Ukraine-focused move, meanwhile, follows criticism over the fact that many refugees have not been able to enter the country.
On Thursday, Biden met with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO in advance of a summit focused on what the White House called “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.” The war in the region, as pointed out by AP, marked its one-month anniversary on Thursday.
This month, Vice President Kamala Harris announced an additional $53 million in funding to go toward helping civilians impacted by the invasion of Ukraine. In a White House statement at the time, the administration said that it had provided an estimated total of $159 million in such assistance to the country since October of last year.