Evangelical Leaders Affirm Decision to Grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians

 In Press Releases

March 7, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Today the Evangelical Immigration Table sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, thanking them for the decision to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians who are present in the U.S.

“The designation of TPS for Ukrainians who are present in the United States right now, such that they need not fear deportation but can stay and work in the U.S. at least until the conflict is resolved, is an important way that the U.S. can stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” the letter says.

The letter also urges the Biden administration to rebuild the U.S. refugee resettlement program and the country’s capacity to fairly adjudicate asylum requests, “so that some of those forced to flee Ukraine — along with those fleeing a credible fear of persecution from other countries — will eventually be able to find refuge in the U.S.”

The following are quotes from leaders of organizations that signed the letter:

Myal Greene, President & CEO, World Relief:
“World Relief has been honored to resettle more than 7,000 Ukrainians as refugees over the past decade, which is nearly 40 percent of all Ukrainian refugees resettled to the U.S. in that time frame. We also have many staff who are originally from Ukraine, many of whom are desperately concerned about the well-being of their loved ones. Even as we pray for peace and urge neighboring countries in Europe to ensure that no one fleeing persecution is turned away, the U.S. should certainly not be deporting anyone to Ukraine at this time. We thank President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas for their decision to grant Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians, while urging them to continue to rebuild the U.S. refugee resettlement program and asylum system to be able offer refuge to those from Ukraine and from similar situations of persecution.”

Brent Leatherwood, Acting President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
“Granting TPS is a simple, but significant, action for Ukrainians avoiding the violence of Vladimir Putin. America has long been a refuge for those fleeing despots and I’m thankful we haven’t hesitated to open our doors at this moment of chaos in Eastern Europe. The world desperately needs a U.S. that is engaged with the international community, responsive to global developments, and welcoming to refugees in need of shelter from tyranny. Making this move is one small step that communicates we are doing just that.” 

Chris Palusky, President & CEO, Bethany Christian Services:
“Lives can be saved if the international community reacts swiftly and decisively to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion. Bethany affirms the decision to designate new Temporary Protected Status for eligible individuals from Ukraine currently in the U.S and urges the U.S. government to prioritize the reunification of refugee families through resettlement and to meet the growing humanitarian need caused by this conflict. We join people of faith around the world by praying for hearts to be changed and for God’s miraculous peace to prevail so no more precious lives are lost.” 

Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“Latino evangelicals, like Christians around the world, are praying for the people of Ukraine, asking God to restrain evil, protect human life and bring peace. We also are praying for President Biden and other leaders around the world, that God would grant them wisdom as they navigate this complex situation. The decision to grant Temporary Protected Status to individuals from Ukraine who are currently in the United States is one way that U.S. policy can help, and we’re grateful that the Biden administration made this decision.”

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