On March 3, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Ukrainians already living in the United States. TPS has been used to give protections for immigrants fleeing natural disasters, political instability, and humanitarian crises.
Secretary Mayorkas stated in the announcement, “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries…In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States.”
Here is how the internet reacted:
Many have welcomed the news that TPS is granted for Ukrainian nations already in the U.S.:
The Biden administration is designating Ukraine for #TPS. Earlier this week, I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to @POTUS calling for immigration relief for Ukrainians in the US. I am glad to see the administration take this vital action.https://t.co/7PTlZfJhd3
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) March 4, 2022
I’ve been pushing for this, and now President Biden is taking action to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) so that Ukrainians can stay safely in America.
The United States stands with the people of Ukraine.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 3, 2022
I’m grateful to this administration for doing everything it can to support Ukraine, including granting TPS to keep Ukrainians currently in America safe. https://t.co/rU3CsUUnH5
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) March 3, 2022
I've joined @RepEspaillat, @RepMikeQuigley & @RepJimmyGomez in calling on the admin to designate Ukraine for TPS & grant Ukrainian students in the US Special Student Relief. It is a privilege to support Ukrainians here as they defend democracy against fascist aggression.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) March 2, 2022
Welcome news: the Biden Administration has designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for #Ukraine, an urgently needed measure to protect Ukrainians in the US! Thank you to everyone who joined us in calling on the Administration to act. #RefugeesWelcome https://t.co/8uyiWbiTma
— IRC – International Rescue Committee (@RESCUEorg) March 4, 2022
Others pointed out how the Biden Administration acting fast to grant TPS to Ukraine, while countries such as Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mauritania, and more non-white foreign nationals have not been granted TPS despite countless efforts by advocates:
Just got news that USCIS won’t expedite my Afghan clients’ humanitarian parole despite congressional assistance. But Ukraine gets TPS mere days into the conflict. I’m tired.
— Allison “Free them ALL” Norris (@allisonnorris) March 3, 2022
before anyone calls me a hater i’m not against ukraine getting tps & all deportation flights to there being halted, i’m just, so so angry that it really is that easy & we get called irrational & unreasonable for demanding the same others
— chad bane (@goth_cousin) March 3, 2022
The Biden admin has swiftly designated TPS for Ukraine, as it should. But other non-white populations from places like Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Afghanistan, + Central America have been fighting for far too long for the same protections.
— Justice Action Center (JAC) (@jactioncenter) March 3, 2022
Happy they announced TPS for Ukraine. But why don’t we have TPS for Afghanistan?
— Laura Barrera (@abogada_laura) March 3, 2022
TPS for Ukraine, FINALLY. Now do Afghanistan.
— Mike Wilk (@mkwlk) March 3, 2022
TPS for Ukraine is right. But please explain the inane delay for TPS for Cameroon, Mauritania, Afghanistan, and I would’ve said Sudan and South Sudan but they somehow beat me to it on the very last day before the deadline. Anti-Blackness never sleeps. https://t.co/C9GPtCQ4Wi
— Immigration Is A Black Issue, esq. (she/her) (@_breannejustine) March 3, 2022
Members of Congress also urged the Biden Administration to designate TPS for other countries as he did for Ukraine:
We must respond to the crisis in Ukraine with compassion.
That means designating Ukraine for TPS, opening our doors to refugees & providing these same protections to refugees from Africa, Middle East, Latin America, Asia, LGBTQ communities & more.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) March 3, 2022
I applaud the Biden administration for taking the steps necessary to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
I also urge the Administration to address the backlog of TPS designations for Black-majority countries—including Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Mauritania.
— Rep. Jimmy Gomez (@RepJimmyGomez) March 4, 2022
Senator Bob Menendez applauded the Biden Administration for this action and also urged the administration to designate TPS for Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan:
Great news tonight as @SecMayorkas announces that the Admin is heeding our calls to designate Ukraine for TPS. In this dark moment in history, @POTUS is again making clear that the US will NOT relent in its support for the people of Ukraine. My full statement: https://t.co/GVTSzew5hR pic.twitter.com/PxtBbSaFmy
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) March 3, 2022
While TPS for Ukraine is certainly a cause for celebration, AOC leaves us with an important message: “How the world treats Ukraine, and Ukrainian refugees, should be how we are treating all refugees in the United States”:
1. Push the Biden to grant #TPS to Ukrainians in the United States
2. Push Congress to deliver a path to citizenship for all TPS recipients — including Venezuela, Haiti, Honduras, etc.pic.twitter.com/29xqX388km
— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) March 2, 2022