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State Department working with U.N. to determine if Ukrainians who fled will be admitted to U.S.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) warns of "refugee and humanitarian collapse" resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which about 1 million have fled.

Published: March 3, 2022 4:41pm

Updated: March 5, 2022 10:41pm

The U.S. State Department says it's working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to determine if some of the Ukrainians who have fled during the Russian invasion will need to be resettled inside the U.S.

Just the News asked the State Department if the U.S. government plans to accept Ukrainian refugees and, if so, how many.

"The U.S. government is working closely with European allies and partners who will be at the forefront of any response, as well as international organizations and NGOs, to support those displaced internally within Ukraine and those who may seek safety in neighboring countries," a State Department spokesperson said.

"We commend our European Allies and partners for keeping their borders open to Ukrainians who need to seek international protection. Our cooperation with our European Allies and partners allows us to provide immediate assistance on the ground for those who are fleeing Ukraine. The United States is, and will continue to be, a global leader in international humanitarian response, including in refugee resettlement." 

The State Department spokesperson said the agency would work with UNHCR and its overseas posts to determine whether "Ukrainians who have fled to another country require resettlement to a third country" because they're not safe in their current location.

"The United States will assess vulnerability as a central tenet of refugee admissions to address the urgent need for resettlement across all regions," the spokesperson said. "We also will not discriminate based on country of origin."

The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) "supervises and funds an overseas network of Resettlement Support Centers," which are operated by international and non-governmental organization partners to prepare resettlement applications. 

"We are diligently working to rebuild the infrastructure of the program, including by strengthening our refugee processing systems," the spokesperson said.

According to the United Nations, 1 million people have already fled Ukraine.

California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was asked if he thinks there will be a refugee crisis due to the war.

"Will there be a refugee and humanitarian collapse?" he responded. "Yes, if we allow this war to go the way Putin wants it to go."

"If, in fact, we make sure that it's the Russians who pull out, Ukraine can reestablish its country, then those displaced people will be able to go home," Issa said during an interview this week with Just the News on Capitol Hill. "And if there's no home, they'll be able to be reestablished within Ukraine and that's the best thing." 

"I've worked with the United Nations humanitarian relief for refugees for many, many, years, for 20 years," Issa continued, "and I will tell you, they would much rather have people displaced within their own country with a culture and the support that can be given. And that should be part of our goal, and those who are fleeing over the Polish border right now, all of them want to go back if they can, right now they can't."

Issa was asked how he thinks the U.S. can change the course of the escalating invasion.

"The only way to change the course of the escalation is, in fact, to equip the Ukrainians to fight and win their war," he replied. "It's really too late to bring NATO in in a major way. But it's not too late to, in fact, provide the weapons and the technical support for a Ukrainian force that has shown that it can go toe to toe with the Russians and hold them at bay."  

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the U.S. government should offer Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to Ukrainians seeking to flee the country during the Russian invasion. She also said the Ukrainian crisis is an opportunity to provide a path to citizenship for TPS holders from other countries.

"If we grant TPS to Ukrainian refugees, this is also an opportunity to finally create a path to citizenship for TPS recipients," she said on MSNBC. "A lot of people don't know that TPS recipients by and large do not really have a concrete path to citizenship. Many have been here for decades."

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