Washington, Mar 3 (EFE).- Tens of thousands of Ukrainians currently in the United States are invited to apply for protection from deportation under a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) initiative responding to the Russian military offensive in their homeland, the government said Thursday.
“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejando Mayorkas said in a statement.
“In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States,” he said.
The program is open to Ukrainians who were in the US as of March 1.
“Individuals who attempt to travel to the United States after March 1, 2022, will not be eligible for TPS,” the Department of Homeland Security said.
The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think-tank, estimates that the program could benefit some 30,000 Ukrainian citizens in the US on temporary visas or without documents.
TPS, which originated in the late 1990s to accommodate Hondurans fleeing devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch, can be applied to countries suffering from armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.
The US is currently extending TPS protections to people from Haiti, Honduras, and El Salvador, among other nations. EFE afs/dr