Three major Jewish organizations representing thousands of local affiliate organizations and thousands of displaced Ukrainian refugees are calling for increased protections for up to 20,000 displaced Ukrainians living in the United States, just as the one-year parole of thousands of Ukrainians is set to expire.
In a joint letter sent today (February 28, 2023) to the US Department of Homeland Security, Jewish Federations of North America, HIAS, and the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies called on the governmental agency to ensure that thousands of displaced Ukrainians who were granted one-year humanitarian parole – a temporary status afforded to individuals based on humanitarian needs – can renew their parole in a timely manner and without fear of deportation, loss of benefits, or the expiration of work permits. Their parole is set to expire in March.
“Together, our agencies have risen to meet the needs of the thousands of Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States, but we are deeply concerned about significant challenges that will negatively impact their status,” the letter said. “Currently, both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have the legal authority to authorize humanitarian parole for noncitizens. However, there is no clear process or guidance for how Ukrainians should efficiently request re-parole and from which agency, leading to confusion and delays.”
The letter also calls for a continuity of work authorization, benefits eligibility, and an extension of Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine, which ensures Ukrainian nationals who were in the United States before the start of war can remain here without fear of deportation. Additionally, it calls on the United States government to ensure that certain Ukrainian religious minorities who arrived in the United States through the Uniting for Ukraine program still have access to the United States Refugee Admissions Program, which provides additional lasting protections for which this population would have been eligible had the war not interrupted their resettlement process.
The letter represents months of Jewish Federations advocacy, together with HIAS and The Network, for increased support and pathways in the United States for displaced Ukrainians. Last year, Jewish Federations launched a $1 million Ukrainian Resettlement Grant Initiative with matching funds from the Shapiro Foundation, to resettle Ukrainians in 18 Jewish communities across the United States and Canada.
To read the letter click here.