REFUGEE CRISIS IN UKRAINE
On February 24, 2022, Russia began a military invasion of Ukraine, sparking the fastest growing refugee and humanitarian crisis within Europe since World War II. Around 6 million Ukrainians have fled their homes.
On March 24, the White House announced that the US will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing the armed conflict. On April 21, President Biden announced “Uniting for Ukraine” – a government program allowing people forced to flee Ukraine to seek safe haven in the US, but only with support from a US citizen, permanent resident or other legally-residing individual serving as a sponsor. The federal government will vet and approve the applications of both sponsors and Ukrainians seeking humanitarian parole. Learn more about becoming a sponsor at Welcome.US.
International Institute of Los Angeles is monitoring the situation and awaiting guidance from the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security. IILA and our local communities are standing by to help refugees rebuild their lives in Southern California. As we learn more about the need for support in the Greater Los Angeles area, we will update this page with more information.
- April 21, 2022: DHS: President Biden to Announce Uniting for Ukraine, a New Streamlined Process to Welcome Ukrainians Fleeing Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
- April 19, 2022: A Notice by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status
- March 24, 2022: IILA Applauds the White House Announcement that the US will Welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian Refugees
- March 24, 2022: The White House: FACT SHEET: The Biden Administration Announces New Humanitarian, Development, and Democracy Assistance to Ukraine and the Surrounding Region
- March 10, 2022: IILA Statement on Ukraine
RESOURCES FOR UKRAINIANS
- California Department of Social Services: Resources for Ukrainian Arrivals
- US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants (USCRI): Resources for Ukrainian Allies
- US Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Secretary Mayorkas Designates Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
- US Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Uniting for Ukraine
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Ukraine Operational Data Portal (updated daily)
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Ukraine Situation: Regional Refugee Response Plan
IILA STATEMENT ON UKRAINE
March 10, 2022
“IILA was founded in 1914 to serve immigrants and refugees, and we have proudly continued that work for the past century. We continue to do our utmost to serve refugees and asylees arriving in Southern California from countries around the world. Our hearts go out to all those suffering from war, violence, persecution and oppression, especially our Ukrainian sisters and brothers.”
– Cambria Tortorelli, President & CEO of IILA
International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) is closely following the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion. We understand that many in the Greater Los Angeles area are also watching the deeply distressing events with great concern for displaced individuals and are looking for ways to help.
At this time, we are not expecting a large number of Ukrainians to come to the United States, as the European Union has taken the lead on accepting refugees and the US is not conducting large-scale evacuations. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the US would accept Ukrainian refugees, but currently most refugees apparently want to stay in Europe. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the current priority is “to support the countries that are bearing the immediate burden of taking in Ukrainians. And then, as appropriate, if people seek refugee status in the United States, of course we will look at that and I’m sure act on that.”
As of March 7, more than 2 million refugees have already fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That number is expected to increase as the conflict continues.
While it is still too early to know the full global impact of this humanitarian crisis, IILA is standing by and awaiting guidance from our partners at the federal level, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). As a result of IILA’s Act Now for Afghan Allies campaign, launched after the fall of Kabul in August 2021, IILA has built a strong network of local volunteers, community groups, and donors who are also standing by and ready to help refugees however they can.
In the meantime, USCRI has addressed common questions for Ukrainian nationals in the US, those with family in Ukraine, and Ukrainians fleeing Ukraine into a nearby country.
For press inquiries, please contact:
Alex T. Nguyen, Development Director
TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS
FOR UKRAINIAN NATIONALS
NOW FILING TPS APPLICATIONS FOR UKRAINIAN NATIONALS
3/3/22 Update: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainian nationals in the US, based on the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that prevent its nationals from returning safely.
4/19/22 Update: USCRI issued a notice that Ukrainians can submit an initial registration application for TPS and apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Additionally, the government adjusted the cutoff date for those who are eligible to apply for TPS. All Ukrainians who meet eligibility requirements and who entered the US before April 11 of this year can apply. The designation of TPS for Ukraine lasts until October 19, 2023.
More details from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible):
- Are not removable from the United States
- Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- May be granted travel authorization
Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.
TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
- Applying for nonimmigrant status
- Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
- Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible
TO SUPPORT UKRAINIANS
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE OF IILA
IILA has not yet been assigned to resettle Ukrainian nationals. We are standing ready and awaiting further guidance from our partners at the federal level and the State Department. Please check back on this site for future opportunities to volunteer directly with IILA.
On April 21, 2022, President Biden announced that 100,000 people forced to flee Ukraine can seek safe haven in the US under a government program known as “Uniting for Ukraine” – but only with support from a US citizen, permanent resident or other legally-residing individual serving as a sponsor. The federal government will vet and approve the applications of both sponsors and Ukrainians seeking humanitarian parole.
To learn more about becoming a sponsor, visit Ukraine.Welcome.US.
Other opportunities to volunteer to support Ukrainians in the community:
- Airbnb.org: Provide temporary emergency stays to people fleeing Ukraine.
If you are an organization directly aiding Ukrainians, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be listed here.
TO SUPPORT CRITICAL SERVICES
MAKE A GIFT TO SUPPORT FAMILIES
Donate today to support critical services for refugees arriving from all over the world. Your gift will directly address refugees’ most urgent needs and equips our staff to help refugees feel safe, adjust to a new environment, support their families, and gain the skills to eventually become self-sufficient and participate in their new communities.
Your gift of any amount will support:
- Resettlement costs, including initial meals, transportation, housing, and other set-up expenses
- Basic necessities, including rental assistance, bus vouchers, phones, laptops, and school materials
- Health services, including physical and mental health screenings
- Social services, including language programs, job training and search, and child care
Designate your gift to the Refugee Fund to provide broad operational support to IILA refugee services. Make a secure online donation to support refugees here.
International Institute of Los Angeles is a proud member of the Welcome.US Coalition.