Bipartisan group recommends raising refugee cap, prioritizing Ukrainian applications, and reducing wait times
Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) joined a bipartisan group of 61 Members of Congress in a letter to President Biden urging him to build on the humanitarian efforts already underway to help Ukrainians by allowing for the expedited resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in the United States.
Among other recommendations, the Members urge the Administration to raise the cap on refugees allowed into the United States for Fiscal Year 2022 if it is necessary to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, ensure that Ukrainians are eligible for priority status, and reduce wait times on student visas.
The letter is led by Schiff (CA-28) and Representatives David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Juan Vargas (CA-51), and Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10).
In their letter, the Members write to President Biden, “We applaud your decision to grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians currently in the United States, but there remain millions of refugees who are stranded after fleeing Ukraine who we must not ignore or abandon. We ask your administration to take several necessary steps to ensure the safety of the Ukrainian people and a robust resettlement program for Ukrainian refugees within the United States.”
They continue, “Refugees who have fled Ukraine are currently housed in temporary shelters throughout European countries including Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and Romania, many with no idea where they will go or what their lives will look like in the coming months and years. For example, reporting has indicated that cities in Poland are struggling to house and feed these refugees, in which two Ukrainians enter Poland every three seconds, and the millions of Ukrainian refugees who have already arrived in Poland would create the country’s second-largest city. Indeed, these countries face immense burdens as a result, with Europe facing its worse refugee crisis since World War II. The burden of sheltering and settling refugees cannot fall solely on European countries. America must also do its part.”
Members co-signing the letter include Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Cheri Bustos (Il-17), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Sean Casten (IL-06), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Jim Copper (TN-05), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Jim Himes (CT-04), Hank Johnson (GA-04), William R. (Bill) Keating (MA-09), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Annie Kuster (NH-02), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Andy Levin (MI-09), Mike Levin (CA-49), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Marie Newman (IL-03), Eleanor Norton (DC), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), David Price (NC-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Mary Scanlon (PA-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Dina Titus (NV-01), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), David Trone (MD-06), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Susan Wild (PA-07), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and John Yarmuth (KY-03).