A senior official in the Biden administration announced that the U.S. is planning to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion, according to CNN.
“To meet this commitment, we are considering the full range of legal pathways to the United States,” the official told CNN. The administration plans to utilize the US refugee admissions program, parole and immigrant and non-immigrant visas to meet the threshold. The move will reportedly not require Congressional approval or an adjustment of the refugee cap, which is set at 125,000 for this fiscal year.
It’s a start, but the crisis is vast. An estimated 3.5 million people have left their homes, according to the UN refugee agency’s data. Most of them have fled to Western European nations, and the U.S. expects most refugees will want to remain on the continent, but new programs are being developed that will have “a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States.” The official said there will also be a focus on extra vulnerable refugees, like those with medical needs, third-country nationals and members of the LGBTQ community.
“By opening our country to these individuals, we will help relieve some of the pressure on the European host countries that are currently shouldering so much of the responsibility,” the official told CNN.