Welcome.US Statement on the One-Year Anniversary of the Uniting for Ukraine Program

Press Release

April 21, 2023


Success in program’s first year proves America’s capacity to welcome newcomers

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Welcome.US CEO Nazanin Ash issued the following statement today on the anniversary of the launch of Uniting for Ukraine, a groundbreaking United States government program that provides people fleeing the war in Ukraine the opportunity to seek refuge in the United States with the help of an American sponsor.

“One year ago, the Biden Administration launched Uniting for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion sparked the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II and millions of Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes. Harnessing the long tradition of communities welcoming those seeking refuge, this program opened the door for everyday Americans to directly support people in need of safety in the United States for the first time in decades.

“In announcing Uniting for Ukraine, President Biden set an ambitious goal for the United States to welcome at least 100,000 displaced Ukrainians. Uniting for Ukraine has not only proven the power of what can happen when we bring communities into the work of supporting newcomers, it has laid the groundwork for a seismic shift in how we approach refugee resettlement. Through sponsorship, we can greatly expand our country’s capacity to welcome people from around the world who are in need of safety. Today, over 235,000 people have filed applications to sponsor displaced Ukrainians, and collectively we have welcomed nearly 125,000 Ukrainians to the United States.

“Indeed, the success of Uniting for Ukraine has led the Biden Administration to expand sponsorship pathways to other vulnerable populations, including Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans through a new humanitarian parole process announced this year. In addition, the State Department launched the Welcome Corps, which allows communities to sponsor refugees from crises across the globe.

“As Americans in communities across the country — rural areas and cities, red states and blue states, in congregations of all faiths — raise their hands to help, we have clearly shown that America is a nation of welcomers committed to addressing the global refugee crisis with innovative solutions. At a moment when global displacement is at an all-time high, we honor the anniversary of Uniting for Ukraine by calling on more Americans to step up and serve as sponsors so all people can live with dignity and have the opportunity to fulfill their human potential.”

To learn more about Welcome.US and how to support displaced Ukrainians through community sponsorship, visit ukraine.welcome.us.

About Welcome.US

At Welcome.US, our mission is to unleash the desire and capacity of Americans to welcome newcomers and help them thrive. We operate on the evidence that direct participation with newcomers transforms both the welcomer and those being welcomed. We are not an advocacy organization or an operational agency providing direct services to newcomers.

By making it easier for Americans from all walks of life to participate in the work of welcoming—and telling their stories—we are building a movement that celebrates America’s welcoming spirit by providing an opportunity to serve for all who seek to welcome. Our diverse community of Welcomers reaches across real and perceived divides to meet the needs of newcomers more effectively.

In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, diaspora organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, four former Presidents and four former First Ladies, Welcome.US is the single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States.

To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit welcome.us.

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