Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. embassies and consulates working to increase appointments for Ukrainians

The State Department, a senior administration official said, is working to track down 18,000 Ukrainians who had entered the U.S. refugee pipeline before the Russian invasion under the so-called Lautenberg program, which allows religious minorities in former Soviet republics to obtain expedited U.S. resettlement. U.S. refugee resettlement staff who relocated to Moldova after their Kyiv post was closed due to the war have identified “a number” of Ukrainians in eastern Europe who have pending Lautenberg program cases, the official said. (https://news.yahoo.com/u-unveils-sponsorship-program-resettle-133000480.html) Administration officials said U.S. embassies and consulates are also working to increase appointments for Ukrainians seeking temporary U.S. visas and to expedite cases of Ukrainians with urgent humanitarian, medical or otherwise “extraordinary” needs. While the U.S. set out to resettle up to 125,000 refugees from across the globe in fiscal year 2022, fewer than 9,000 refugees have been admitted so far, State Department figures show. In March, just a dozen Ukrainians entered the U.S. as refugees.

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