US offers temporary legal status to Ukrainians amid ongoing war

Washington DC – The US has offered Ukrainians in the country temporary humanitarian protection from deportation due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has extended TPS for Ukrainians in the US who arrived in the country before March 1.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has extended TPS for Ukrainians in the US who arrived in the country before March 1.  © Collage: 123RF/millenius & IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Thursday the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.

It means Ukrainians who have lived in the US since March 1 can apply for work permits and deportation protections. Those who travel to the US after March 1 will not be eligible.

"Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries," said Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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"In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States."

The DHS said the designation scheme is designed to protect those from countries where there was ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Ukraine's designation was due to the "full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, which marks the largest conventional military action in Europe since World War II," the DHS noted.

"This invasion has caused a humanitarian crisis with significant numbers of individuals fleeing and damage to civilian infrastructure that has left many without electricity or water or access to food, basic supplies, shelter, and emergency medical services."

Some 30,000 Ukrainians in the US could benefit from the status change, the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, estimates.

Cover photo: Collage: 123RF/millenius & IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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