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Biden undercuts Ukrainian refugees, VT aid group finds

Agape Ministries in VT helps Ukrainians
A Vermont ministry is trying to help Ukrainian refugees from war reach the United States, no thanks to the Biden administration’s new “streamlined” immigration process for Ukrainians. Photo credit Agape Ministries of Irasburg.

By John Klar

The Biden administration’s “Uniting for Ukraine” immigration initiative actually makes it harder to bring Ukrainians to the U.S., a Vermont-based ministry has discovered.

In March, the Biden administration announced the United States would accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. There were no stated conditions for entry, and many Americans with ties to the Ukraine undertook to begin evacuating threatened families.  But then President Biden halted that progress, last week announcing a new “Uniting for Ukraine” policy with stringent restrictions:

“This program will be fast, it will be streamlined, and it will ensure the United States honors its commitment to the people of Ukraine, and that they need not go through our southern border,” Biden said Thursday at the White House.

However, the program halts Ukrainians entering America legally through Mexico, and imposes requirements that each entrant be hosted by Americans guaranteeing to support them financially, with a host of other restrictions.  These requirements are more restrictive than existing immigration restraints on all legal immigrants: but these are war refugees in a conflict seeded by Joe Biden and Barack Obama.  

All this program really offers is “…a web portal through which U.S.-based individuals and groups can apply to become sponsors and upload documents…. [Entrants] must also undergo vaccinations, biometric screening and background checks before being granted admission.”

Imagine implementing those restrictions at the border with Mexico, to screen gang members fleeing anarchy equally to young children being bombed in war?  President Biden’s supposed initiative undermines efforts to rescue Ukrainians, despite the deceptive “Uniting for Ukraine” language. 

In Vermont, a number of faith-based groups with existing ties to Ukraine took President Biden up on his initial call to help rather than hinder refugees.  One Vermont organization called Agape Ministries, Inc. 4 Ukraine, located in Irasburg, responded to the call.

Theresa and Scott Cianciolo, who have adopted sons from Ukraine, launched into action when they believed they could bring their Ukrainian friends to Vermont by flying them first to Mexico and crossing into the U.S. from there. The Cianciolos kept in close communication with the Shapavalova family, who were in Poland, and Theresa flew to San Diego, hoping that eight of the Shapavalovas could cross over from Mexico through a process called “humanitarian parole.” …But moments before the Shapavalovas were set to depart Poland on Thursday, their plan was thrown into chaos when their flight through London to Mexico City suddenly required a new visa.

In addition to other costs, $15,000 of airplane tickets for this family was wasted immediately: they could be in Vermont now, but “Uniting for Ukraine” assured they are still stuck abroad.  Perhaps the Cianciolos will be able to get them here after they vouch for them all with their personal finances — if they have any money left after this bureaucratic snafu. 

There are an estimated eight million Ukrainian refugees, and it appears the new rules now require their American sponsors to pass a background check:

“Any U.S. citizen or entity can apply to sponsor Ukrainians and will be required to declare their financial support and pass a background check. Administration officials said there is no limit on how many Ukrainians a person or entity can sponsor.”

There is “no limit” on sponsoring refugees, which sounds so benign except that these restrictions are utterly limiting. In truth, POTUS Biden has shut down the path to safety for these refugee families in the name of saving them. This action resembles the American government’s response to the fall of Saigon, in which then-Sen. Joe Biden opposed rescuing civilians:

“I will vote for any amount for getting the Americans out,” Biden said during an April 14th, 1975 Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting. “I don’t want it mixed with getting the Vietnamese out.”

His words recall the failure of the U.S. government to extract Afghani civilians in that more recent debacle.

Ironically, while parroting Biden administration claims that “Uniting for Ukraine” is a positive step forward, the American media has been attacking Israel for not doing more:

Since Russia invaded Ukraine more than two weeks ago, Israel has seen thousands of Ukrainian refugees enter the country to find refuge. Many of these refugees are not Jewish, and thus not eligible for absorption under the Law of Return, which allows anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent to immigrate to Israel. …As a result, these refugees are also ineligible for the many rights granted to Jewish refugees and asylum seekers — including access to universal healthcare. …Instead, asylum seekers in Israel are expected to pay for private health insurance, something which many are unable to afford. – MSN, March 14.

This article goes on to cite cases of Israel rescuing very sick children and others for medical treatment at no cost, but never addresses the contrast with American treatment: is the United States offering universal healthcare to refugees, after American citizens vouch for them financially and get background checks?  Israel is accepting far more refugees per capita than America. The press criticizes that country for “discriminating” in favor of Jews (who are already free to emigrate), not mentioning that since the war began Israel has accepted more non-Jews than Jews.

The facts show that the Biden administration is flinging open America’s southern borders for unfiltered entry, while clamping down against children fleeing war.

(Disclosure: John Klar is a member of the Board of Directors of Agape Ministries, Inc. 4 Ukraine, and invites readers to donate. This article is edited and republished from today’s American Thinker.)

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4 replies »

  1. The southern border is not “flung open” any more than CRT is taught in public schools. Those are LIES. Why are Republicans so full of crapp?

    • There are an increasing number of democrats who are now vocally opposing the “Biden” border policies, and anyone who pays attention can see that he has been waving them in like a third base coach.
      For some of these democrats, they fear voter backlash in the fall elections. Others are genuinely concerned about the existing housing shortage in the US, 100,000+ overdose deaths from cheap fentanyl, and the pervasive sexual assaults and human trafficking targeting migrants.
      As referenced in the article, Biden has had a checkered past of just who and with what criteria he has welcomed or resisted entry to.

      • Biden’s policy on the southern border matches Trump’s, albeit with a few minor exceptions. There is no significant difference.

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