The Biden administration on Friday announced an extension and expansion of temporary legal status for Ukrainians already in the U.S., saying that Russia’s ongoing military invasion of their country and the ensuing humanitarian crisis prevents them from safely returning.
The expansion is expected to make 166,700 additional individuals eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This is on top of allowing 26,000 current beneficiaries to retain their TPS through April 19, 2025, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.
“Russia’s ongoing military invasion of Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis requires that the United States continue to offer safety and protection to Ukrainians who may not be able to return to their country,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
“We will continue to offer our support to Ukrainian nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief.”
TPS for Ukrainians was expected to expire on Oct. 19, but it is being extended for 18 months.
The Biden administration first granted TPS to Ukrainians shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022. The war is nearing its 18-month mark with little signs of coming to a resolution.
Ukrainian forces succeeded in taking back wide swaths of their territory from under Russian occupation in the fall of 2022, but a second counteroffensive launched in June has proceeded much slower in the face of dug-in Russian defensive positions.
More than 6.2 million Ukrainians have registered as refugees in Europe, and an estimated 5.1 million internally are displaced in their homeland, according to the latest data from the United Nations.
Source: The Hill