CLEVELAND — With the United States preparing to accept 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, Global Cleveland is calling for federal government action. 

What You Need To Know

  • Global Cleveland, an organization that helps resettle refugees to northeast Ohio, outlined steps the federal government should take to help ease the transition

  • Late last week, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would accept up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine

  • As of Tuesday, more than 3.9 million refugees have fled Ukraine since last month, the United Nations estimates

On Monday, the group outlined three steps to ease the resettlement process. 

“We call for the federal government to extend the application deadline for Temporary Protected Status to all Ukrainian refugees until Dec. 31, 2022,” the group said in its first step. “As it currently stands, refugees can only receive TPS status if they arrived in the U.S. before March 1, 2022. Ukrainians have just begun entering the United States in earnest. Extending TPS will offer Ukrainians a greater degree of protection and opportunity.”

For its second call to action, Global Cleveland said, “We call for the federal government to provide unrestricted work visas for Ukrainians until Dec. 31, 2023. Ukrainian refugees want and need to work. With unrestricted work visas, Ukrainians can fill gaps in Ohio’s workforce deficit, helping support the economy by addressing the demand for workers.”

In its third step, Global Cleveland said, “We ask that the federal government direct $20 million to Northeast Ohio in order to help Ukrainian refugees. As a region that is home to one of the country’s largest populations of Ukrainians, we expect a large influx of refugees and are already seeing Ukrainians seeking refuge in Northeast Ohio.”

Earlier in March, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine assembled organizations preparing to assist welcoming refugees from Ukraine. DeWine called on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to bring together multiple organizations “who could play a role in the relocation of Ukrainian families” in northeast Ohio. 

The United Nations estimated that nearly 4 million refugees fled Ukraine. 

Late last week, President Joe Biden said the federal government would prepare to relocate up to 100,000 refugees to the U.S. 

“Helping these refugees is not something Poland or any other nation should carry alone,” Biden said Saturday in a visit to Poland. “All the world democracies have a responsibility to help. All of them. And the people of Ukraine can count on the United States to meet its responsibility.”

While the federal government handles requests for resettlement, it is up to states and local organizations to help get refugees acclimated to their new home. 

Soon after the conflict between Ukraine and Russia started, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and Global Cleveland President Joe Cimperman said the area was ready to welcome those needing to resettle.

“We strongly condemn this attack that will result in the loss of innocent lives and is a direct threat to the freedom of so many,” Bibb, Budish and Cimperman said in a joint statement. “As thousands of individuals are displaced from their homes and livelihoods in the face of war and violence, we want to remind the world that the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio are here to embrace them with open arms.”