Hetfield: U.S. Must Act Now to Accept Ukrainian Refugees

By Ayelet Parness, HIAS.org

In an appearance on MSNBC on March 6, HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield called on the U.S. to begin the process of resettling Ukrainian refugees, especially those with close family already in the U.S.

“I don't know what the United States is waiting for,” said Hetfield to “American Voices” host Alicia Menendez. “The time for us to act is now."

HIAS has a long history of working in Ukraine, and since 2013 has been operating in partnership with the Ukrainian organization Right to Protection (R2P). R2P’s staff, many of whom are displaced persons themselves, are currently focused on assisting those looking to flee Ukraine with obtaining documentation and cash-based assistance for the journey.

Hetfield also weighed in on the psychological impact that this crisis would have on young children in Ukraine, calling it “unfathomable.”

“The damage that is happening right now is irreparable,” said Hetfield. “Kids are resilient… but they're going to carry this with them for the rest of their lives.”

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