The Biden administration will announce plans this week to accelerate the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees from vulnerable groups, including LGBTQ+ individuals, in the United States.
Reuters and NBC are both reporting that sources with knowledge of the administration’s plans have said that the expedited process would make it easier for activists, including those in the LGBTQ+ community, and journalists to settle temporarily in the United States.
The process would also be expedited for Ukrainian family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. It would also “detail more staff to handle applications for a temporary status known as ‘humanitarian parole,’” Reuters reports.
NBC reports that in addition to considering humanitarian parole, Priority-2 designation programs will be used to help resettle refugees from war zones, including those from Afghanistan. However, officials have yet to announce any plans, or specific details about them.
An estimated 3.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries since Russia’s invasion in February.
Journalists, LGBTQ+ individuals, and activists in particular may be vulnerable to persecution should Russia prevail. At the start of the invasion, U.S. sources had obtained credible information to suggest that Russia had already created a list of Ukrainians the Russian government is targeting for detainment or worse in the event of an occupation.