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San Diego business ready to sponsor Ukrainian refugees

Posted at 4:58 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 23:07:30-04

SAN YSIDRO, Calif. (KGTV) — President Joe Biden's plan to expedite the arrival of Ukrainian refugees and ease the crush of migrants trying to cross through the Southern border is now in effect.

Monday, ABC 10News spoke with a San Diego business ready to sponsor refugees.

Sergey Levinson and his business partner Sam Shekhter came to the U.S. as refugees from Ukraine decades ago. They own Atlas Mechanical Inc. and employ more than 200 people.

"When we came to this country we knew nothing, but many people helped us to get on our feet and succeed, and we want to pass the baton," said Shekhter.

The Biden administration says its new plan, called "Uniting for Ukraine," will streamline the process for up to 100,000 Ukrainians to apply for what's called humanitarian parole to stay in the U.S. for up to two years.

RELATED: New online application process for Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainians must have been residents of Ukraine as of February 11, they must have a financial sponsor in the U.S., complete vaccination and other public health requirements, and pass background checks.

Levinson and Shekhter say the program will make it easier for them to sponsor and offer people work in their engineering company.

"It's a good program because it will give us some background."

Under the new plan, Ukrainians seeking asylum at the U.S. Mexican border will be denied entry. The shelter at the Tijuana International airport was withdrawn, but the shelter will continue operating until May 5, according to our media partner Televisa.

It will stay open to give guidance to refugees so they can determine whether to return to their country of origin or start their asylum process in Mexico.