U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Thursday that the United States would designate Ukrainians for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months. File Photo by Al Drago/UPI | License Photo
March 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced that it has granted Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians in the United States amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The agency said it will extend the humanitarian relief which allows migrants who come from countries facing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions to remain in the United States for 18 months.
"Russia's premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek refuge in other countries," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. "In these extraordinary times, we will continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals in the United States"
The Department of Homeland Security said the designation was granted as the invasion of Ukraine has caused "a humanitarian crisis with significant numbers of individuals fleeing and damage to civilian infrastructure that has left many without electricity or water or access to food, basic supplies, shelter and emergency medical services."
In order to be eligible for TPS under the designation, individuals must have lived continuously in the United States since March 1.
Approximately 75,100 people are estimated to be eligible to file applications for TPS under the designation, a homeland security spokesperson told CNN.
On Monday, a group of 40 Democrats and two Republicans sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on the administration to offer the special protections to Ukrainians.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday also announced it would pause deportation flights to Ukraine.
European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo