President Joe Biden announced Thursday the US would be accepting up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
BEAUMONT, Texas — Many families face a dire situation in Ukraine one month after Russian forces first invaded.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday the US would be accepting up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, but how does the refugee resettlement process work?
12news reporter Simona Barca turned to her family who went through the process. They’re from Moldova, which is right next to Ukraine.
“We will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians in the United States, with a focus on reuniting families,” Biden said.
While that’s good news, resettling across the world can be daunting.
“Oh, it was like we were on a different planet,” said Moldavian refugee Viorica Barca.
“We’re so thankful for the refugee program that allowed us to go to school because the English college was very expensive,” Viorica Barca said.
Neither Viorica Barca or her husband spoke any English when we moved to the US.
They started life from scratch with a four-year-old and a nine-year-old child.
“I miss missing some places from my country but most of all my family, my parents, my brothers, and sisters, but I love American life. Yeah, I feel blessed to live in America,” Viorica Barca said.
For the 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, it’ll be a chance at a new life, away from air sirens, missiles, and bomb shelters.
But the process to become a refugee is extensive.
Refugee seekers must apply for refugee status before their case can be referred to a US agent.
Then you need:
- Background checks
- In-person interviews with Department of Homeland Security agents
- Medical screenings,
- Matched with a sponsor agency
And the demand is high.
“When we were interviewed, we were 40 families and from those 40 families, they decided just one family to go with refugee status on this word, Barca family, and we were very wow yeah, it was like a miracle for us,” said Viorica Barca.
There are several reasons to be considered for refugee resettlement, including political turmoil.
The process can usually take more than a year, but the White House has promised to expedite these claims, and we’ve already seen refugees enter the country.