SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) — The Biden Administration recently announced that the United States will allow 100,000 Ukrainians into the country and the new program officially begins on Monday.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the new “Uniting for Ukraine” plan, will be a streamlined process for Ukrainian citizens to apply for humanitarian parole in the U.S. and the application process will go live on the DHS website Monday.
To be eligible, Ukrainians must have been residents in Ukraine as of February 11th of this year, they must also already have a sponsor here in the U.S., complete vaccination and other public health requirements, and pass what the DHS says is "rigorous biometric and biographic screening and vetting security check.”
Once approved under the program, the DHS said Ukrainians will then be authorized to travel to the U.S. and be considered for humanitarian parole for up to two years, on a case-by-case basis.
Once paroled, they will be eligible for work authorization in the U.S., according to DHS.
Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego, CEO Vino Pajanor said they've recently helped about 60 Ukrainian families temporarily resettle in San Diego County, and he believes the new process will make things go smoother.
“Instead of going through Mexico and coming into our Southern border to the United States, what the administration is trying to do now, is you need to have a process to come to the United States,” said Pajanor.
He does expect the process to take some time once people can officially apply to be sponsors on the DHS website on Monday.
“It's not going to be overnight, it may take weeks, or even a couple of months, to get people screened, but it'll be better,” said Pajanor. “We're hoping, fingers crossed, that it'll be better than normal refugee processing.”
Any U.S. citizen can sponsor Ukrainian applicants.