WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the Biden administration will provide Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians in the United States:
“After a week of Vladimir Putin’s illegal and ruthless war against the people of Ukraine, I am heartened that Biden administration is heeding our calls to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status. As a result of today’s decision, President Biden is once again making clear the United States will not relent in its support for the people of Ukraine in this dark moment in history. Ensuring approximately 30,000 Ukrainians in the United States can receive the protection they deserve, and have the opportunity to work and live in the United States without fear of returning to a country under siege, is absolutely the right and moral thing to do. Temporary Protected Status was created by Congress for exactly this purpose—to protect people whose home countries have experienced armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or extraordinary conditions that prevent people from safely returning home.
“History demonstrates our nation’s ability to welcome people to our country with dignity has made our multiracial democracy thrive. The United States must continue to lead the world as a safe haven for migrants who are unable to return home due to ongoing conflict and environmental disasters, I will continue to urge the Administration utilize this statute to protect more populations who are unable to return home, including nationals from Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan. Today, as the Biden administration renews its commitment to protect refugees and asylum seekers in the post-Trump era and works to fulfill its promise to welcome migrants fleeing danger at our own borders, I join in commending this important TPS designation and look forward to seeing our economy and communities strengthened by it.”
Earlier this week, Chairman Menendez was joined by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in leading 39 Senators in a letter to President Biden urging the Administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ukrainians in the United States following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.