On February 24 of this year, Russian troops were sent into Ukraine to begin a war. Russian President Vladamir Putin claimed that he saw Ukraine as a threat and wanted to demolish their government. Over a month later and Russia is still trying its best to annihilate the country for good. This has caused Europe’s largest refugee count since World War Two. Over 4 million refugees including 2 million children have fled Ukraine since the start of the war. Poland, one of Ukraines bordering countries have received over 2 million refugees while the others are dispersed elsewhere. At the border of Mexico and the United States, refugees are waiting to be allowed into the country. “A memo obtained by CNN instructs officers at the border to consider exempting Ukrainians on a case-by-case basis from the public health restrictions the US has used to block migrants from entering the country since the early days of the pandemic.It's significant that only Ukrainians were singled out in the recent Department of Homeland Security memo,” according to a CNN news article. This is raising the issue of how a lot of migrants are welcomed into the U.S. and how most people are rejected if it is a life or death scenario. Should these refugees get a free pass unlike other immigrants? It could be unfair but these people do need somewhere to go while it is unsafe to return to their home country. Who knows how long it will be until they can return.
Troops at the border were given strict instructions to only allow those from Ukraine to enter the country. “The memo that suggests considering Ukrainians for exemptions notes that "the unjustified Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis."” Why are these refugees being treated differently? It's not just in the U.S. but other European countries are just welcoming these people into their country with open arms. What about Syrian refugees or people from Haiti who are being left at the borders and given no help whatsoever. Some people see it as being their skin color that makes a difference or the amount of refugees who have all left Ukraine within a short amount of time making it an international crisis. A reporter who was at the border of Mexico and the U.S. said she spoke to two different families about their experience at the border. One mom and her two daughters from Ukraine were allowed entry to be with their family in California. Another family from Haiti has been at the borders trying to get into the U.S. for weeks and still have not been allowed in. "They're not doing very well at all. They're living in a shelter that's totally squalid conditions. The daughter is really suffering. She's crying, not sleeping. She has an infection and fevers," says the reporter. How can this be fair considering the family from Haiti has a sick daughter and no one is trying to help, while the healthy family from Ukraine is just allowed through the border with no problem. The United States is allowed to help if they want and doing so is a great idea trying to help those from Ukraine who are going through a terrible crisis. However, there seems to be a double standard and the people from Haiti should be helped in this situation as well.
Romania, Hungary and Moldova are three other countries who have gained at least 300,000 Ukrainian refugees. Aside from those who have been lucky enough to flee the war, there are still millions of civilians trapped in Ukraine. They are hiding in bunkers trying to stay alive in hopes of the war ending soon or the ability to free the country. Those refugees who have entered other European countries are being cared for to make sure they are healthy but that is all that can be done for them. There are limited jobs and these refugees can’t be given jobs or a nice place to stay, there is only so much help a refugee can get. Poland has truly opened their open arms to the refugees and have even given some jobs but that seems to be the only country who is doing this much to help. According to BBC News, Ukrainian children are being allowed in classrooms to learn, and at night they are providing large amounts of people to sleep. Romania is also trying their best to help the refugees. “The Romanian city of Suceava, located about 25 miles south of the Ukrainian border, has set up several camps and shelters for the Ukrainian refugees, including the Mandachi Hotel, which has been converted into a refugee shelter occupied mostly by women and children.” According to the Jerusalem Post, refugees just want to return home as soon as possible to see their families they left behind and be with their people.
With the end of the war being unknown, who knows how long it will be until these refugees will be able to return home. Countries like Poland and Romania will not be able to provide for these refugees if this war continues for months. Ukraine is being bombed on a daily basis and thousands, if not millions of people will still seek to find another country to stay in. The number of refugees will only get higher. President Joe Biden has said he wants to let over 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security stated they are “providing support and humanitarian relief to Ukrainian nationals in need both in the United States and abroad.” Those who have been in the U.S. since March 1st will be allowed to stay and seek employment. “None of them have said they want to make a life in the United States.. As soon as the war is over, they want to go back to Ukraine.” According to an article from the Boston Globe. Refugees are looking forward to the war ending, not looking to start a new life in another country.
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