WASHINGTON — A White House official says the U.S. is trying to help its Eastern European allies by taking in up to 100,000 of the 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled Russia’s invasion of their country.
Among the first Ukrainian refugee coming to the U.S. will be those who have family already in the United States, senior Biden administration officials said in a conference call with reporters.
U.S. refugee efforts will also focus on helping refugees who are considered particularly vulnerable following the Russian invasion, groups that include LGBTQ people, those with medical needs as well as journalists and dissidents, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the efforts ahead of their formal release.
The officials said further details of the refugee effort will be released later but they don’t expect to raise the overall cap of 125,000 refugees, from around the world, for budget year 2022 that the administration set last year in consultation with Congress.
That’s because the 100,000 Ukrainians can come in through other admission programs such as humanitarian parole, which was used to bring in thousands of Afghans following the U.S. withdrawal in August.