A new report and podcast from the Center for Immigration Studies provides an overview of the Ukrainian refugee crisis, which has seen more than four million people flee Ukraine for neighboring countries. The report describes the European Union’s response to those seeking protection in various countries in the region and also highlights the U.S. response, which has been primarily aimed at providing economic and humanitarian assistance to enable Ukrainians to remain in their own region. However, President Biden, under pressure from refugee advocates, eventually committed to resettling 100,000 Ukrainians. The report provides a snapshot of the Ukrainian population already resettled in the U.S. which these individuals would be joining.
Most Ukrainians already resettled in the U.S. arrived under the “Lautenberg Amendment”, a Cold War-era program that gives priority to Ukrainians and others from the former Soviet Union who claim to be persecuted because of membership in a religious minority group. The program is on automatic pilot, being renewed yearly despite the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. It will undoubtedly be used to fast-track the resettlement of Ukrainians in the coming months despite the lack of religious persecution in the EU, where the Ukrainians are located.
Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center and author of the report, said, “Federal resources are not unlimited and those expecting the arrival of tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees this fiscal year might soon be disappointed. The U.S. southern border crisis and the Afghan crisis and its evacuees in need of processing and assistance are diverting resources. Most Ukrainians have safe options in Europe; if we do allow these individuals to come to the U.S. under the refugee resettlement program, which has a cap of 125,000, they will be displacing many other people in unsafe situations in other areas of the world.”
The report concludes by looking at the 2015 migration crisis in Europe and the multitude of errors many are making as they compare it to the current one and the welcoming stands of various European countries toward Ukrainian refugees.
In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, highlights the actions taken by the State of Texas in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it will lift Title 42 in May. Even more important than the busloads of migrants being sent to Washington, D.C., to allow the nation’s capital to share the burden of the border crisis, are the “enhanced safety inspections” at the border’s busiest bridges for commercial vehicles. Trucks are backed-up for miles, significantly impeding trade from Mexico. Will the operation force Mexico to take steps to secure the U.S.-Mexico border? Will Governor Abbott back down? Will the Biden administration sue Texas to stop their efforts?
Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Nayla Rush is the Senior Researcher for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Voices in the opening montage:
- Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
- Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
- President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
- Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
- Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
- Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
- Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
- Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
- Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".