April 25, 2022

What Happens to the Real Refugees of Ukraine?

Over five million Ukrainians have fled their country since Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

At the base of the Statue of Liberty is a bronze plaque inscribed with the famous words from Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus.” The most well-known lines of her poem are these: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Unfortunately, this message of the U.S. being a beacon of light and liberty to those desiring a refuge from tyranny has too often been used to justify illegal immigration. It has been used by those on the Left to assert that anything less than maintaining wide open borders is to fail to uphold the values of America, a nation of immigrants. Of course, missing in all this open-borders sentiment is the fact that there could be no country — no America — if there were no borders.

The spirit of Lazarus’s poem is indeed one of acceptance of those in dire need — the persecuted and genuine refugees. It is those who are invited to come, such as the millions of Ukrainians who have fled their country following Russia’s invasion.

According to United Nations calculations thus far, more than five million Ukrainians have fled into their neighboring countries. Poland has accepted the most, with nearly three million pouring over the border. This is followed by Romania at 763,769, Hungary at 476,213, Moldova at 428,577, and Slovakia at 346,175.

To put things in perspective, the total number of Syrian refugees that have fled that civil war in over a decade’s time is just shy of seven million. In a matter of seven weeks, more than five million Ukrainians have fled their country. In other words, the humanitarian need is immense, and that is likely one of the factors Vladimir Putin is counting on to motivate NATO to push Ukraine into agreeing to a peace deal that is more favorable to his interests.

In the meantime, the U.S. is the largest and wealthiest NATO country and has helped with the war effort via billions of dollars’ worth of supplies and arms, but America has done little on the refugee crisis. The Biden administration’s only move thus far has been a rather timid step in that direction with a March 24 announcement of visas for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

These refugees will need to have an American sponsor, and they will be granted a visa that will give them permission for entry and a work permit for up to two years. In the spirit of Lazarus’s poem, these Ukrainian refugees are “the homeless” and “tempest-tost.” These are the folks who have been displaced from their homes due to the actions of an aggressor who clearly has little respect for life. This is an opportunity for Americans to show our generosity — not out of compulsion, but out of genuine concern for the innocent.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration isn’t prioritizing helping genuine refugees, but instead is dead set on eliminating as many border security measures as possible, such as Title 42, to allow as many illegal aliens as possible to enter the U.S. unaccounted for. That is not compassion; it is malfeasance and an abuse of American generosity. Biden is creating resentment of the foreigner among many Americans because he refuses to uphold the laws of the land.

Welcome in the genuine refugee and enforce border control laws to prevent those who don’t respect our national sovereignty, boundaries, and laws from entering.

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