CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) -On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a new program for Ukrainian refugees. “Unite for Ukraine” aims to streamline the immigration process for those fleeing the war with Russia.
The news is bittersweet for a Ukrainian family in Clovis in the process of bringing their loved ones.
“They’re super disappointed the border is closed,” said Galina Kozlov, whose brother and his nine children had plans of flying into Mexico this week to request entry at the U.S border.
Last month, President Biden committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
“We’ve already welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainians to the United States and today, I’m announcing a program ‘Unite for Ukraine,'” Biden said on Thursday while delivering an update on Ukraine and Russia.
Under the new humanitarian parole program, Biden says Ukrainians will be able to request admission directly from Europe. Applicants will have to undergo screenings and complete vaccinations, including the Covid-19 vaccine. Refugees must have also been residing in Ukraine as of February 11.
“It will provide an expedient channel for secure legal migration from Europe to the United States for Ukrainians, who have a U.S sponsor, such as a family or an NGO. This program will be fast, it’ll be streamlined, and it’ll ensure the United States honors its commitment to go to the people Ukraine and need not go through our southern border,” said Biden.
Kozlov said her family arrived in Germany on Thursday and will now try to request admission at the U.S Embassy.
“They’re thinking to separate the family, just go one part early, one part later on.”
But she’s grateful they’re safe. And she’s grateful for the community’s support after sharing her story on the Nextdoor app. People have been dropping off clothes, diapers, and other donations.
“They’re bringing gift cards, they buy a refrigerator for them,” she said.
Kozlov is also fundraising money online for relocation support. For more, visit her GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/ukraine-refugees-family-of-11