The Biden administration will announce plans to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and others affected by the Russian war on Ukraine, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
Not all will be admitted through the refugee program or during this fiscal year. A full range of pathways will be utilized, including humanitarian parole and immigrant or nonimmigrant visas.
The crisis in Ukraine has quickly unfolded as the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Over 3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia began its invasion last month, according to the U.N.
The Biden administration also announced over $1 billion in new funding towards humanitarian assistance for Ukraine to be distributed in the coming months, along with an additional $320 million in “democracy and human rights funding to Ukraine and its neighbors,” according to a statement. Since Feb. 24, the U.S. has provided more than $123 million to bolster humanitarian efforts in nearby European countries that have welcomed displaced Ukrainians.
The White House has prioritized Ukrainians seeking reunification with family in the U.S., along with LGBTQ people, journalists, dissidents and activists, three sources familiar with the conversations told POLITICO earlier this week. Journalists and others in these vulnerable groups have been targeted by Russian forces.
As of March 22, the U.S. has taken in 7,888 refugees for fiscal year 2022, according to the State Department. The annual refugee cap for FY 2022 is 125,000, a figure Biden raised after receiving backlash from Democrats. Ukrainian refugees will not count toward this figure unless they are admitted through the refugee program.
“This commitment of 100,000 is not necessarily time-bound to that fiscal year,” a senior administration official told reporters Thursday. “It’s a broader commitment.”
Biden is in Brussels Thursday for a NATO summit and a European Council meeting. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this month that Biden would use his trans-Atlantic trip to discuss ways to “provide humanitarian support to those affected by the violence.”
Laura Barrón-López contributed to this report.