With the escalating attack by Russia on Ukraine, the United States is looking at measures to protect Ukrainian immigrants already in the U.S. from removal/deportation and to welcome refugees to America. Already hundreds of thousands of people have fled Ukraine, and current estimates are 1 -5 million people may leave the country. The U.S. is looking at providing new protections for Ukrainian refugees and immigrants to meet their humanitarian needs.
Most people still use the term deportation, but the government now refers to the process as removal. If a person facing removal proceedings wants to fight against deportation, a deportation defense lawyer can protect their rights and help them fight removal. Deportation relief and a temporary hold on someone’s removal could be provided to Ukrainian immigrants already living in the U.S. such as Temporary Protected Status or a Deferred Enforced Departure.
• Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is offered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and grants a work permit and reprieve from deportation to certain people whose countries have experienced natural disasters, armed conflicts or exceptional situations so they can remain temporarily in the United States.
• Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) can be ordered by President Biden so that those individuals are not subject to removal from the United States for a designated period of time.
• Special Student Relief (SSR) is the suspension of certain regulatory requirements by DHS for an F‑1 student from parts of the world that are experiencing emergent circumstances.
Ukrainian refugees began arriving in neighboring countries in Central Europe shortly after the attack began on February 24. With the large number of Ukrainians living in the United States, it is anticipated that many Ukrainians will want to come to the U.S. as refugees.
If they don’t have a U.S. citizen or LPR family member who can sponsor them to live in the U.S., the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows individuals who have “experienced past persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” to resettle in the U.S. Individuals who meet the requirements for refugee status may be considered under Section 207 of the INA if they are outside the United States, or asylum status under Section 208 of the INA, if they are already in the United States.
An Illinois immigration attorney can help Ukrainians with an immigration application, and a deportation defense lawyer can provide advice, guidance and representation to help you fight removal from the United States. For a confidential consultation to learn how an attorney can help your case, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law at 630-912-0322.