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The US will extend the legal stay of thousands of refugees from Ukraine

The Biden administration is allowing thousands of Ukrainian refugees who were processed along the southern border following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to stay and work legally in the United States for at least one more year, according to an official announcement obtained by CBS News.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and displaced millions of refugees, Thousands of Ukrainians Fly into Mexico to enter the US along the southern border, mainly in California. Within weeks, US border officials allowed more than 20,000 Ukrainians into the country, exempting them from a pandemic restriction known as Title 42 that has prevented hundreds of thousands of migrants from staying in the US.

The ad hoc process along the US-Mexico border stopped in late April after the Biden administration created a formal program for displaced Ukrainians to travel directly to the US if they have an American sponsor. Under that program, known as United for UkraineMore than 100,000 Ukrainians came to the United States

Although both populations were allowed to enter the country under a humanitarian immigration authority known as parole, Ukrainians were granted two years of parole brought to the United States under the United for Ukraine policy. Those processed along the southern border were granted parole for 12 months, meaning temporary permission to live and work in the United States. was set to expire this spring.

But under the policy change announced Monday, the government will consider extending parole grants to Ukrainians processed along the southern border between February 24 and April 25, 2022. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects to review them. Case within four weeks as per notice. Those who are approved can download their updated parole grant online.

Ukrainians who have been living in the United States since April 19 can also apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a program that allows immigrants from crisis-stricken countries to obtain work permits and deportation protection. Like parole, however, TPS is temporary and does not grant recipients permanent legal status.

Although US government officials have said most Ukrainians want to return to Ukraine, it is unclear when the fighting there will stop. Those who wish to remain in the United States permanently must apply for asylum or other immigration benefits, such as a family-based green card, to remain in the United States legally.

Monday’s announcement could prove to be a test case for how the Biden administration handles the temporary legal status of thousands of refugees and immigrants allowed to enter the United States under parole authority.

In addition to paroling thousands of Ukrainians in the United States since last year, the Biden administration used parole authority to evacuate more than 70,000 Afghans following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Most recently, as part of efforts to curb illegal border crossings, the administration granted parole to thousands of immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela with U.S. sponsors.

Unlike other immigration facilities, there is no easy way for immigrants paroled at the airport to request an extension of their legal permission to remain in the U.S., because they are not prosecuted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a law enforcement agency. application

Afghans will begin being transferred to the United States under the parole process lose their deportation protection and work permits this summer, and few of them have obtained permanent legal status through asylum or special visa applications for wartime allies, according to data released by CBS News.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed making Afghan evacuees eligible for permanent residency, a bill called the Afghan Adjustment Act failed to gain enough support from Republican lawmakers.

Advocates have urged the Biden administration to extend parole grants to Afghans to give Congress more time to act or for evacuees to apply for asylum or other immigration benefits.

More Camilo Montoya-Galvez


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