Nearly 700 Ukrainian refugees have already been resettled in the U.S. since the start of Russia’s invasion of the former Soviet country, according to data from the State Department.
The latest information from the Refugee Processing Center reported that as of February 28, a total of 692 Ukrainian refugees have resettled across the country. The number is more than 10% of the nearly 6,500 refugees admitted since October.
The news comes as more than two million refugees have now reportedly left Ukraine. The past two weeks have seen the mass movement of Ukrainians quickly become the largest European refugee movement since World War II.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that the U.S. is willing to accept Ukrainian refugees.
“The United States is committed to doing everything we can, first of all, to support the countries bearing the immediate burden of taking in Ukrainians, and then, as appropriate if people seek refugee status in the United States, of course, we will look at that and I’m sure act on that,” he said.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months for Ukrainians already living in the U.S.
“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. “In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”
The decision could impact up to 34,000 Ukrainian immigrants already living in the country, according to a report from the American Immigration Council. The highest numbers of Ukrainian potential TPS beneficiaries are found in Illinois, Michigan, California, and New York, according to the report.
Unlike the Biden administration’s military departure of Afghanistan in August that led to tens of thousands of Afghan refugees resettling in America, most Ukrainian refugees are seeking refuge in nearby nations.
The majority of Ukrainian refugees have moved to Poland since the start of the Russian invasion. Others have resettled in bordering Romania or Moldova.
Neighboring Moldova reported on Sunday that more than 230,000 Ukrainians have fled into the nation since February 24. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Moldovan President Maia Sandu during his trip to eastern Europe on Sunday as well, offering support with refugee efforts.
Both Germany and France have also accepted large numbers of refugees. CNN reported in a Tuesday update:
Germany, for example, on Tuesday said over 64,000 refugees from Ukraine had arrived since the beginning of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24. An Interior Ministry spokesperson said the number could be much higher because there are no border controls. Meanwhile, an estimated 5,000 Ukrainians have so far arrived in France, with more arriving every day, Citizenship Minister Marlene Schiappa said.
The United Kingdom has taken a more moderate approach to Ukrainian refugees. Of the 17,7000 Ukrainian applications submitted as of Monday, just 300 visas have been approved.
(2/2) That includes immigration security, the right to work and free access to healthcare, education and housing.
Staff have been surged across Europe and within the UK to ensure applications can be processed as quickly as possible, while maintaining essential security checks.
— Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) March 7, 2022
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