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Melanie Nezer on CNN: U.S. Shares Responsibility for Accepting Ukrainian Refugees

Mar 21, 2022

Blog Post

Ayelet Parness, HIAS.org

The U.S. must share responsibility for accepting Ukrainian refugees in the midst of the “fastest pace of displacement since World War II,” Melanie Nezer, HIAS senior vice president for global public affairs, told CNN's Kristen Fisher during a March 19 appearance on “New Day.”

While neighboring countries have welcomed Ukrainian refugees with open arms, they are overwhelmed; countries around the world must step up to accept refugees and relieve some of the stress, Nezer explained.

Nezer called on the Biden administration to grant admitted Ukrainians refugee status, rather than the temporary humanitarian parole granted to the bulk of those evacuated from Afghanistan this past summer. And while many Ukrainians want to stay close to Ukraine, often due to male family members of military age not being allowed to leave the country, the U.S. should focus its attention on welcoming those with close family ties in the U.S.

“If you can imagine what it would be like to be displaced, and know that you had a brother waiting for you in another country that could have you in his home and that could support you, that's where you would want to be,” said Nezer. “And that's what we think the administration should act on very quickly.”