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The Biden administration on Monday announced that nearly 6,000 Ukrainians have already been approved to enter the United States through a new parole program announced by the Biden administration last month.
The Department of Homeland Security said that the first notices authorizing Ukrainian nationals to travel to the U.S. under “Uniting for Ukraine” were sent out. It said that the Ukrainians began arriving on Friday.
DHS announced the scheme last month that allows U.S. residents and organizations to apply to the Department of Homeland Security to sponsor Ukrainians who have been displaced due to Russia’s invasion.
Families wait to board a train at Kramatorsk central station as they flee the eastern city of Kramatorsk, in the Donbas region, in early April. (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Those who fulfill public health requirements and pass biometric and other security checks to travel to the U.S. can be considered for parole for up to two years in a streamlined process — where they will be able to apply for work permits.
“We are proud to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russian aggression to the United States,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement at the time. “The Ukrainian people continue to suffer immense tragedy and loss as a result of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on their country.”
At the same time, it ended an exemption it put in place from Title 42 expulsions for Ukrainians who had come to the southern border after numbers shot up from 272 in February to 3,274 arriving in March.
President Biden has pledged to bring 100,000 Ukrainians to the U.S and officials said that last month about 15,000 Ukrainians had come into the U.S. since the invasion. The administration said it expects the majority to come in through the new program.
The administration has said there would be no preferential treatment under “Uniting for Ukraine” for Ukrainians who arrive at the southern border.
So far, DHS says it had received more than 19,000 requests from Americans wishing to help Ukrainians or their family members come into the U.S.