President Joe Biden is expected to announce today in Brussels that the United States will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
While this would constitute a significant bump in the number of Ukrainians the US has accepted during the conflict, it’s nowhere close to the number that Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungary have admitted. US officials have justified the relatively low numbers by noting that most Ukrainian refugees want to stay in Europe so they can return to their home country more easily if the conflict resolves.
According to NBC News, the refugees will be admitted through a range of pathways, “including the US Refugee Admissions Program, nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, and other means.” Another mechanism could be “humanitarian parole,” which allows entry to individuals fleeing violence. The administration will prioritize Ukrainians with family members in the US.
In addition, the US will donate a billion dollars to help European countries assimilate the surge of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion. More than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian armed forces poured across the border, with the majority escaping into neighboring Poland. While the Polish government has received criticism for its anti-migrant stances during previous conflicts, international organizations have praised Polish officials and civilians for rallying to house and feed Ukrainians.