In Philadelphia, we know our diversity is our strength. We are a proud welcoming city that celebrates its vibrant immigrant community and we stand ready to welcome Ukrainians and other displaced people fleeing the conflict.
Our state is home to the second-largest Ukrainian community in the United States. To date, the City has not been informed of any federally led humanitarian evacuations for Ukrainians similar to how Operation Allies Welcome admitted Afghan families.
We applaud the Biden Administration for committing to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States. Our Administration looks forward to additional details as to the immigration pathways that will be made available to displaced Ukrainians. At this point, Ukrainians have not arrived through the federal refugee resettlement program led by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Traditional refugee resettlement takes several months and sometimes years to complete.
Ukrainian students and visitors stranded in the United States may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status. The secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent its nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. Ukrainians eligible for TPS status must have been in the United States since April 11, 2022.
How you can help
In Philadelphia, the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is working with Nationalities Services Center, HIAS Pennsylvania, Bethany Cristian Services, and Catholic Social Services to plan for welcoming and providing assistance and services to those who arrive in Philadelphia in the coming weeks.
The best way to support organizations that are providing aid to people is through monetary donations to vetted groups that are providing immediate and long-term relief. Financial donations allow individuals to purchase what is most appropriate for their needs, provide organizations greater flexibility, and take less staff and space to manage while also reducing traffic around locations.
There are many opportunities to be involved in helping Ukrainians during this time of crisis. View the list of local and national donation sources.
Become a Welcomer
There is a new national initiative to welcome new neighbors, Ukraine.Welcome.US, that offers additional opportunities to help.
In the future, there will be opportunities for residents and supportive organizations to create Sponsorship Circles for Ukrainians to provide an opportunity for them to begin again.
Philadelphia residents interested in advocating for better immigration policies to support Ukrainian and other immigrant, refugee, and asylum seeking communities can visit this helpful resource from HIAS Pennsylvania.