Originally posted by The Washington Post and written by Maria Sacchetti. Summary provided by McEntee Law Group.

The Biden administration announced plans to accelerate the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees into the U.S. The new plan will allow both U.S. citizens and organizations to sponsor refugees. Officials also announced they will no longer allow Ukrainian refugees to enter through the U.S.-Mexico border. 

More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland and Romania. A month ago, the Biden administration promised it would take up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the U.S.  

Until now, there has not been a clear plan for how the U.S. would handle potential arrivals. 

The administration is calling the new plan “Uniting for Ukraine.” The program will give most refugees humanitarian parole status, which allows them to stay in the U.S. for up to two years. The administration is emphasizing this as the “safest and most efficient way” to be processed into the country. They’re also saying Ukrainians can no longer enter through the Southern border.  

Ukrainian individuals cannot directly apply for entry into the program themselves. Instead, they must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or organization.  

Immigration advocates praise the plan, but also raise important critiques. Many hope the administration will treat other migrants fleeing persecution with the same opportunities Ukrainians are receiving.   

“What’s going to happen when that temporary status expires?” asked Melanie Nezer, senior vice president at HIAS, a refugee resettlement organization. “There is a concern that this would just add to the undocumented population here if Congress doesn’t act.” 

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