Biden says the US will welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

Women with small children fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine get settled at the train station of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 11, 2022.
Women with small children fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine get settled at the train station of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 11, 2022. | AFP via Getty Images/Yuriy Dyachyshyn

The United States will accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden said Thursday as European nations welcome millions who have been displaced by the war. 

“This is not something that Poland or Romania or Germany should carry on their own,” Biden said during a news briefing in Brussels, Belgium. “This is an international responsibility.”

In a Fact Sheet released Thursday, the Biden administration said that in addition to accepting Ukrainians after already taking in thousands of evacuees from Afghanistan, the U.S. will give $1 billion in humanitarian aid to European countries that are taking in and caring for an estimated 3 million war refugees. 

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“While we expect many Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe close to family and their homes in Ukraine, today, the United States is announcing plans to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” the Biden administration said. 

“In particular, we are working to expand and develop new programs with a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States.”

The administration went on to note that the “United States and the European Union are also coordinating closely to ensure that these efforts, and other forms of humanitarian admission or transfers, are complementary and provide much-needed support to Ukraine’s neighbors.”

Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit centered on providing aid to children and their families, released a statement on Thursday celebrating the announcement.

“This decision allowing the United States to welcome our neighbors affected by the violence is encouraging and will provide hope for those who have experienced unfathomable trauma and loss,” said Chris Palusky, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Services. 

“Bethany remains committed to serving vulnerable children and families in the U.S. and around the world as we work to help them find the support, security, and care they deserve.”

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has taken various measures to aid the invaded Eastern European nation and punish Russia for its aggression.

Last month, Biden announced that he would reinstate sanctions he previously lifted against various entities in Russia, with them being expanded as the ground war began.

“We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies,” Biden said at the time.

Many of these measures are set to take effect on Saturday but do not include gas and oil imports made between Russia and the U.S., as well as European nations.  

On Thursday, the White House announced that the U.S., along with the EU were going to add additional sanctions on various figures in Russia, including measures aimed at several Russian elites, members of Russia's Legislature, the Duma, and defense companies.

"Our sanctions on Russia are unprecedented — in no other circumstance have we moved so swiftly and in such a coordinated fashion to impose devastating costs on any other country," stated the White House. 

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