HIAS Welcomes Humanitarian Parole Extension for Some Displaced Ukrainians
Mar 13, 2023
SILVER SPRING, Md. — HIAS welcomes today’s announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend the humanitarian parole status of some 20,000 Ukrainians who arrived at U.S. ports of entry between February 24, 2022 and April 25, 2022, before the launch of the Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program.
“We thank the Biden administration for making extensions possible for the Ukrainians who entered the U.S. in the early days of the war in Ukraine, addressing the urgent problem of imminent parole expirations,” HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield said. “We appreciate the actions the government is taking, and we hope they will go further and address other obstacles facing Ukrainians in the U.S., including through redesignating and extending Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians who entered the country under U4U.”
In a recent joint letter with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, HIAS also urged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to allow Ukrainian religious minorities who are eligible for the refugee program under the Lautenberg Amendment to have a pathway to apply for refugee status. At the time of the 2022 Russian invasion, some 17,000 Ukrainian applicants for refugee status through the Lautenberg program were in the queue, and many were paroled into the U.S. under Uniting for Ukraine without knowing how U4U would impact their eligibility for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
“DHS should take immediate steps so the U.S. does not slam the door in the face of eligible Ukrainian refugees just because they entered the country as parolees under U4U,” Hetfield said.