Refugee aid organizations on hold on Ukraine

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – As more and more people flee Ukraine to escape the Russian invasion, could we possibly see refugees coming to Fox Valley?

The answer to that question is up in the air right now, but local refugee aid organizations say they are ready if Ukrainian refugees end up coming to the United States.

“We are not sure, we are waiting for the government to make decisions,” said Tami McLaughlin, director of World Relief Fox Valley.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki previously told The Associated Press that the United States would accept refugees from Ukraine. But there is a process refugees must go through before coming to the United States that involves interviews, medical tests and security checks, all of which take time.

The United States could also admit Ukrainian refugees on parole, allowing them to come and live here on humanitarian grounds. Parole status allows refugees to work legally, but does not put them on the path to permanent residence in the United States.

Ukrainian refugees can also apply for temporary visas to live in the United States, but will need to prove their intention to eventually return to Ukraine.

The United States has also designated Ukrainians already living in the United States with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that prevents them from being deported.

Most Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

After helping 180 Afghan refugees this winter settle in the Fox Valley area after leaving Afghanistan when the United States withdrew from that country, McLaughlin said one thing she learned was c is how supportive the community is of the refugees.

State Representative Ron Tusler said he also supports the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the Fox Valley.

In a recent statement, Tusler said, “I want freedom-loving, anti-socialist Ukrainians to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers and that our arms are open to welcome them to settle here in the district. of the Third Assembly of Wisconsin.

“We can acclimate them pretty easily and then have someone who is going to help our businesses, we need employees,” Tusler said.

Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of Green Bay is another local organization helping refugees. Like World Relief Fox Valley, they tell Local 5 News they are waiting to see if Ukrainian refugees will eventually come to the United States.

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