Statement on 'Uniting for Ukraine' Refugee Announcement

Today, the Biden Administration announced Uniting for Ukraine, an initiative that is intended to provide an expedited pathway for Ukrainians in Europe to find refuge in the United States.

Jewish Federations are encouraged by the announcement, which will help alleviate the humanitarian crisis affecting over 5 million Ukrainians who have fled the country. We continue to advocate for the administration to explore all avenues for bring in Ukrainian refugees, and await further details to identify how best to prepare the Federation network to support Ukrainian arrivals.

According to official press releases, the Uniting for Ukraine initiative will provide pathways for Ukrainians who want to seek both temporary and permanent resettlement in the U.S. The program will allow residents and organizations to sponsor eligible Ukrainians, who will be granted humanitarian parole for two years and be able to apply for work permits. Additionally, the program provides additional resources and support for vulnerable Ukrainian populations in Europe to access the Lautenberg program, which is a part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and provides for permanent resettlement.

Since the Russian invasion began, Jewish Federations successfully advocated for an extension to the Lautenberg program, as well as for the Administration to expedite processing of at least 17,000 Lautenberg applications that remain in the pipeline. Across our system, we have raised over $50 million for Ukraine relief, working closely with our partner organizations and 35 NGOs to provide crucial support for those fleeing the war. Jewish Federations have also set up a volunteer hub to pair Russian and Ukrainian speakers with relief organizations working to aid refugees.