The United States welcomes 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

More than 3.5 million refugees have now fled Ukraine, according to data released by the UN refugee agency on Tuesday. Most of those refugees fled across Europe to Ukraine’s western neighbors.

The official said the White House should not ask Congress to expand the current limit on annual refugees to 125,000 set for fiscal 2022 because it would be a “long-term commitment” and other avenues. Many of those Ukrainians are entering the United States.

“We still have a significant capacity of 125,000, so we do not currently imagine the need to go beyond that,” the official said.

In the fact sheet on the new initiative, the White House reiterated its view that “many Ukrainians will choose to stay in Europe closer to their families and their homes in Ukraine.”

The administration is working to expand and improve new programs “by focusing on welcoming Ukrainians with family members to the United States,” the official said.

Emphasis will be placed on protecting the most vulnerable among the refugee population, including members of the LGBTQI + community, those with medical needs, journalists and third-country citizens.

“By opening up our country to these individuals, we will help relieve the pressure on European host countries that are currently carrying more responsibility,” the official added.

The announcement comes ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to Poland on Friday, aimed at highlighting the massive refugee crisis in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s war a month ago.

Poland, which borders Ukraine in the west, has recorded the entry of more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees into the country. However, the number of refugees still staying in Poland is low, with many continuing to travel to other countries.

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When Vice President Kamala Harris visited Poland earlier this month, Polish President Andrzej Duda personally asked him to expedite and simplify the procedures for Ukrainians to return to the country with their families in the United States. He also warned Harris that although Poland welcomed them with open arms, his country’s resources were being badly affected by the influx of refugees.

The United States is considering several options To address the refugee crisis, expedite the US refugee recruitment process for Ukrainians and assist Europe with the arrival of refugees across the region.
Biden recently signed a spending bill Provides More than $ 4 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, including $ 1.4 billion to help the refugee crisis.
Prior to Thursday’s announcement, Biden was in administration Action has already been taken Including providing relief to Ukrainian refugees in the midst of the crisis, including allowing Ukrainians in the United States to remain in the country under humanitarian relief.

This story has been updated with more details.

CNN’s Megan Vasquez and Priscilla Alvarez contributed to the report.

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