U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT CEASES DEPORTATION TO RUSSIA, UKRAINE, AND SEVEN OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, DHS ANNOUNCED TPS FOR UKRAINE
With the large awareness of the Russia-Ukraine dispute, the current situation of the world is no longer news to anyone. Worst still, the insecurity caused by the Russia-Ukraine feud does not only affect both parties but also their surrounding neighbors. The affected countries include; Belarus, Georgia, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia.
Due to the insecurity posed by this feud, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has temporarily ceased the deportation of persons to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovakia. Illegal immigrants of all nine countries have been granted a temporary stay in the United States pending further decisions.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cessation Of Deportation
While publicizing the matter, a spokesman of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) said that “amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis occurring in Ukraine, US ICE has paused repatriation flights to Ukraine. ICE will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and make operational changes as necessary.” One fact awaiting clarity is how long the temporary cessation of these flights would last.
Following a briefing earlier reported to CBS News, not only will the deportation of persons to Ukraine and Russia be halted, but also to seven other nations bounding the region of the continuous violence. As mentioned above, these nations include Belarus, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, and Georgia. This halt of the repatriation process is in other to protect deportees from the fierce violence raging between Russia and Ukraine. It would rather be unfair, unsafe, and against the U.S. “ethics of national security,” to send deportees to such areas.
As of 3 March 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had reportedly set up a Temporary Protected Status(TPS) scheme. The TPS scheme was enacted to allow Ukrainians to access deportation protection and job permits. This was done to temporarily impede their return to their war-infested country, while also possessing a means of livelihood. The Temporary Protected Status was developed for non-permanent and does not permit recipients to acquire permanent residency in the United States.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary reassured in a statement that continued help and protection will be extended to the Ukrainian citizens in the United States in a period of uncommon times such as this.
The Russia-Ukraine Feud
Almost a million persons have reportedly fled Ukraine and more are believed to flee the country in the coming weeks. Hundreds have been reported dead. All thanks to the feud between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine were both parts of the old Soviet Union of which Russia was a major power.
Historical precedence suggests that war has never been the answer to any problem. Rather it has only destroyed the lives of many. War rarely ever solves any problem peace could not. Of a certainty, many world leaders aren’t particularly war-hungry people but people who just want to better their society to the best of their ability. A better understanding amongst leaders would help achieve a peaceful co-existence.
RELIEF FOR THOSE IN THE US
Here are possible solutions who are affected by this conflict.
- Asylum for those who can qualify. If for example, a Russian national possesses strong political views in opposition to the current Russian government, he/she may seek asylum in the US if can prove persecution (past and/or future).
- Asylum may also be available for Ukrainian nationals depending on the controlling in Ukraine powers, and other qualifications. At the time of conflict itself, however, it is too soon to tell how it may affect the asylum eligibility for the nationals of Ukraine.
- TPS for Ukrainian nationals. TPS for Ukrainian nationals will be available once the announcement and special notice are published in the Federal Registry. Currently, the announcement states that a person would have to show that they have resided in the US since March 1, 2022. TPS is not a green card; it will not (without a reform) lead to a green card. It will provide protection from the removal; will provide an open market work authorization, and the ability to apply for advance parole. As a rule, there are only very limited circumstances that would disqualify one from receiving TPS: certain criminal convictions.
- Humanitarian Parole may help those overseas.
- Non-Immigrant and Immigrant visas. Department of State periodically refreshes its guidelines on how and where to apply for Non-Immigrant and Immigrant visas for the nationals of Ukraine.
It is possible that the US government will announce more programs that would benefit Ukrainians, such as refugee status or parole. However, usually, it takes significant time for a person to qualify for refugee status: the vetting may take years.
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