tags: Press Releases

Leading Voices Make Case for TPS for Ukraine and Underscore Importance of Biden Delivering Progress Through Executive Action

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Two new opinion pieces make the case for delivering TPS for Ukraine and implementing TPS designations as a core part of Biden’s immigrations priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C.- As the current conflict in Ukraine continues to cause displacement and unsafe conditions for Ukrainians, two new opinion pieces from Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah and the Dallas Morning News editorial board highlight the urgent need for designating Temporary Protected Status for Ukraine, while also making the case for broader and additional TPS designations from the Biden Administration. 

In her Washington Post column, Karen Attiah writes: “America can do more for Ukrainians than wear blue and yellow — starting with protecting those already here” and states: 

​Ukrainians deserve more than just symbolic appearances of solidarity. If the Biden administration really wants to stand with Ukrainians, it should grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Ukrainians already in the United States — and shield them from having to go back to an active war zone. […]

What’s easy to miss amid the social media outpouring and the color-coordinated outfits is that protecting freedom around the world requires more than military power and economic sanctions. Deporting people back to an active war zone is a compounding of cruelty. Refusing to allow refugees to seek shelter because of their skin color is a violation of both dignity and human rights — a cruelty that Africans fleeing Ukraine are facing right now. The United States should offer protections to Ukrainians as long as the Russian invasion rages — and set an example for the rest of the world to do the same.

An editorial in Dallas Morning News, “To help protect Ukrainians in the U.S., we have to fix our immigration system” notes in part:

It would be callous for Americans to force Ukrainians to go back home to a brutal invasion. The U.S. has previously offered TPS to citizens of other countries, including El Salvador, Haiti and Venezuela, after natural disasters and political crises.

But we urge members of the U.S. House and Senate to look beyond the TPS designation. Our country can grant this special status, but there is more work that needs to be done behind the curtain. Our lawmakers must fix the case-processing backlog in our immigration system that complicates the lives of people waiting in line for humanitarian protections and other immigration statuses. […] We hope this country’s efforts to help our Ukrainian visitors will bring renewed attention to the gaps in our immigration system and perhaps muster the political will to do something about them.

According to David Leopold, Chair of the Immigration Group at Ulmer & Berne LLP, and legal advisor to America’s Voice: 

Granting TPS for Ukrainians should be a no-brainer, and President Biden should listen to the group of 42 bipartisan Senators who are calling on his administration to do so. But the Biden Administration should not stop there. Delivering executive action, including TPS, to other countries in Africa, Central America and beyond is key to making meaningful progress on immigration and keeping families living and working safely in the United States.