RAN Statement on Ukraine
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 3 million people have fled. UNHCR estimates that more than 5 million will be in need of protection by this Spring, creating the largest European refugee crisis since World War II.
Refugee Action Network calls on Congress and the Biden Administration to rebuild the resettlement program, ensure refugee protection and humanitarian aid for those fleeing Ukraine, and extend similar protections to all refugees and asylum seekers.
Fortunately, most European countries have responded generously to the crisis, allocating resources and opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees. Meanwhile, the U.S. announced it would welcome 100,000 Ukrainians after swiftly granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to those already in the U.S.
While Refugee Action Network applauds the welcome offered to Ukranians, we call on countries across the world–including the U.S.–to do the same for all refugees, whether from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Burma, Syria, Ukraine, or other parts of the globe. We strongly condemn the racism and violence witnessed against Asian, Middle Eastern, and primarily African immigrants trying to flee Ukraine. Proper welcoming protocol ensures peaceful coexistence between refugees and host countries by condeming racism, xenophobia, and violence.
Becoming a refugee is not a choice a person makes, but rather an experience that is forced upon them. It can happen to anyone at any time, not only as a result of violence, persecution, and war, but due to climate change, racism, famine, and other forms of harm. All refugees–regardless of their race, nationality, or ethnicity–deserve the humane treatment and protection we’ve seen offered to Ukrainians in recent weeks.
There are many Ukrainians already living in Illinois and our hearts ache for their families now desperately seeking safety. In times like these, we find strength in our community of welcome and will work together to ensure Illinois is a place where all refugees can thrive.
Refugee Action Network joins the U.S. resettlement community in calling on the Biden Administration to meet the refugee admissions goal of 125,000 for Federal Fiscal Year 2022. To date, only 4,362 refugees have arrived through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
In solidarity with all displaced people,
Refugee Action Network