Massachusetts Should Support Refugees from Ukraine

Massachusetts Should Support Refugees from Ukraine

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Marianna Epstein started this petition to Senator Elizabeth Warren and

Dear Senators Warren and Markey,

We are citizens of Massachusetts who strongly believe that our Commonwealth must take a leadership position in helping Ukraine, and specifically urge you to help Ukrainian refugees gain access to the U.S. asylum system.

More than 2.5 million refugees have already fled the war crimes perpetrated by Russia in its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Most of these “lucky” refugees who have managed to escape Ukraine are children. They need our help.

As you know, Massachusetts is home to a large Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking community, and for thousands of your constituents the tragedy currently unraveling in Ukraine is painful on a deeply personal level: we have relatives and friends either hiding in bomb shelters or else desperately trying to reach a border crossing before it's too late.

But one need not speak Ukrainian to be disgusted by Russia’s brutal and senseless war. At a recent rally in Boston in support of Ukraine, Massachusetts residents from the former U.S.S.R. marched alongside demonstrators originally from locales such as Hong Kong, Venezuela, Argentina, and throughout the U.S. Helping Ukraine is a nonpartisan issue with virtually global support – and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should be at the forefront of this issue.

We are asking you to URGENTLY introduce a resolution in the U.S. Senate calling on President Biden to take the following actions:

1.    Begin issuing special immigrant visas specifically for victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine who have family ties to the U.S. (as has been done recently to assist with the evacuation of Afghanistan). 

2.    Drastically raise the annual refugee admission cap to help Ukrainian refugees.

3.    Allow Ukrainians with pending and newly filed refugee applications under the Lautenberg program to travel to the U.S. to complete their processing here, rather than waiting abroad.

4.    Provide adequate staffing to expedite the review of Ukrainian applications for asylum.

We are asking our government to provide the legal foundation for accepting refugees, and our communities will be ready to provide logistical, financial, and emotional support for those who escaped the terrors of this horrendous, unprovoked aggression.

Respectfully,

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