“We are writing to support the administration’s recent announcement to welcome to the United States up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian aggression and to provide additional funding for humanitarian assistance to those affected by the illegal war. from Russia to Ukraine. We stand ready to work with you and Governor DeWine to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Ohio, which is already home to a large community of Ukrainian Americans,” write the lawmakers.
- $2.65 billion through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) International Disaster Assistance program to provide emergency food assistance, health care and other disaster relief ’emergency.
- $1.4 billion for migration and refugee assistance to support refugees fleeing Ukraine.
Dear Secretary Blinken, Secretary Mayorkas, Secretary Becerra and Director Jaddou:
We write in support of the administration’s recent announcement to welcome to the United States up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian aggression and to provide additional funding for humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. We stand ready to work with you and Governor DeWine to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Ohio, which is already home to a large community of Ukrainian Americans.
As evidenced by the state’s recent efforts to welcome more than 1,000 refugees who fled Afghanistan in 2021, Ohio has a long history of welcoming people fleeing war, famine and genocide. Additionally, Ohio’s Ukrainian community has deep roots dating back to the 1880s, when many Ukrainians began moving to the greater Cleveland area in search of better economic opportunities. Later waves of migration caused by World War I, World War II, and Soviet rule saw more Ukrainians come to northeast Ohio, this time in search of freedom and opportunity. In fact, northeast Ohio is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the country, with approximately 50,000 Ohioans of Ukrainian ancestry.
These roots have remained strong as local Ukrainian-Americans have held leadership positions in religious, political, and community organizations. From organizing unions in their community to helping raise funds to open Ukraine’s first embassy, Ukrainian-Americans in northeast Ohio are taking an active role in ensure the development of the whole region. Several representatives of the Ukrainian community in the Cleveland area were recognized by Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton for their efforts on behalf of the first Ukrainian Embassy. This history makes Ohio well suited to host some of the 100,000 refugees fleeing combat zones and will help increase opportunities for successful family reunification.
Ohio is already preparing to welcome those affected by war with homes, jobs and a friendly community. Since the conflict began, Ohio has been a leader uniting Ohio refugee and resettlement organizations to better assist Ukrainians and prepare the region to welcome refugees. Ohio has worked with nonprofits like Global Cleveland and US Together to collect medical supplies to send to Ukraine while connecting Ukrainians with medical help and safe passage out of Ukraine, and connecting families separated by Vladimir Putin’s illegal war. Other local partners have also contributed to the cause, with the Cleveland Clinic arranging and shipping medical supplies to Ukraine so doctors can treat their injured.
We thank you for your efforts to help the Ukrainian people, including over $1 billion in humanitarian aid to those affected by Russia’s unprovoked war. This aid will have a direct impact on the Ukrainian population and on our European allies who have welcomed asylum seekers. Unfortunately, an end to this horrific war is not yet in sight and we urge you to be prepared to offer more humanitarian assistance – including a willingness to accept additional refugees – as this conflict continues.
The people of Ohio are generous people and are ready to help the people of Ukraine. We encourage you to think of Ohio as you work to resettle Ukrainians and others displaced by this tragic war chosen by Russia, we stand ready to assist you in your efforts to reunite families and welcome Ukrainian refugees. in Ohio.
Thank you for your continued dedication to this critical priority.