The Biden administration announced on Thursday that the United States will accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, CNN reports.
"To meet this commitment, we are considering the full range of legal pathways to the United States," a senior administration official said, including the standard refugee admissions program, humanitarian parole, and non-immigrant visas.
The White House said that the move does not require legislation from Congress to expand the 125,000 refugee cap for 2022, adding that it is more of a “long-term commitment” and there will be other ways for many Ukrainians to enter the country.
"We still have a significant capacity within the 125,000 so we don't currently envision the need to go beyond that," the official said.
Over 3 million flee:
More than 3.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine, according to United Nations data.
Most of the refugees have settled in nearby European countries or elsewhere across Europe.
The White House said it expects "many Ukrainians will choose to remain in Europe close to family and their homes in Ukraine."
The White House said it will “focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the United States.”
The administration will also priorities vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ people, those with medical needs, and journalists.
"By opening our country to these individuals, we will help relieve some of the pressure on the European host countries that are currently shouldering so much of the responsibility," the official said.
10 million displaced:
Russia’s war in Ukraine has forced 10 million civilians in total to flee their homes, including the 3.5 million that have fled to other countries.
"Among the responsibilities of those who wage war, everywhere in the world, is the suffering inflicted on civilians who are forced to flee their homes," said Filippo Grandi, the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Refugees. "The war in Ukraine is so devastating that 10 million have fled — either displaced inside the country, or as refugees abroad."
That would mean about a quarter of the country’s entire population has been displaced.