New York Immigrant Rights Advocates Demand US Welcome As Many Ukrainian Refugees As Possible

New York, NYIn response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent armed conflict and extraordinary conditions, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) called for an immediate designation of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, or Deferred Enforced Departure, or DED, Special Student Relief (SSR) for the tens of thousands of Ukrainians in the U.S. Additionally, the NYIC demanded the provision of work permits and protection from deportation for Ukrainian noncitizens who cannot be safely returned to their home countries, including over 100 DACA Ukrainian recipients and nearly 2,000 F-1 Ukrainian international students. 

These readily available protections should always be used as both humanitarian and foreign policy tools when the U.S. responds to conflict. Migration Policy Institute estimates that roughly 30,000 Ukrainians in the United States would be potential beneficiaries of TPS or DED, as they do not have U.S. citizenship or permanent status. 

In response to the ongoing crisis, NYS Governor Kathy Hochul issued a statement “welcoming Ukrainian refugees” to New York’s shores. NYIC stands ready to support Governor Hochul’s efforts and work with our members to ensure all immigrants can thrive in our state. 

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:

“We have all witnessed the horror of civilians cowering from bombs in Kyiv’s subway stations, fleeing invading soldiers, desperate for some sort of safety for themselves and their families. But America can and must do more than bear witness to the unfolding tragedy in Ukraine. Washington can start with an immediate 18-month designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Special Student Relief (SSR), for the estimated 30,000 eligible Ukrainians in the US. The New York Immigration Coalition fully supports Governor Hochul’s efforts to make New York a national leader in welcoming Ukrainian refugees. We join the Governor in urging the Biden administration to provide safety and sanctuary to the civilians fleeing violence and persecution in Ukraine. We urge President Biden to take immediate action to provide humanitarian relief.”