IILA’s Statement on the Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

Los Angeles

International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA ) is closely following the situation in Ukraine and we are standing by for guidance from our federal partner, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). In the meantime, USCRI has shared this document to address common questions for Ukrainian nationals in the US, those with family in Ukraine, and Ukrainians fleeing Ukraine into a nearby country.

For anyone who wants to support Ukrainians, we recommend these reputable international organizations that are providing direct aid:

  • UNICEF – UNICEF mainly supports children and families caught in conflict in Ukraine. The agency provides educational support, psychosocial support, emergency supplies as well as access to safe water. The organization announced it has scaled up its programs following the invasion. Catherine Russell, UNICEF executive director, said the intensifying violence in Ukraine posed immediate threats to the lives and wellbeing of the country’s 7.5 million children.
  • International Rescue Committee – The refugee organization works to help evacuate regular families out of conflicted areas – including Ukraine. The IRC said this “full-scale war” will result in a humanitarian catastrophe, leading to deaths of innocent people, destruction of infrastructure and massive displacement.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross  – The ICRC’s priority is to assist those in need. The security situation permitting, our teams now in Ukraine will continue their work to repair vital infrastructure, support health facilities with medicines and equipment, and support families with food and hygiene items. In the coming weeks, the ICRC will increase its work reuniting separated families, providing food and other household items to the internally displaced, increasing awareness about areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance, and carrying out its work to ensure that dead bodies are treated with dignity and that family members of the deceased can grieve and find closure.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS for Ukraine Inquiries

Q: I am a Ukrainian National in the United States without legal status. What are my options to remain in the United States?

A: For Ukrainian nationals currently in the United States who do not have an immigration status allowing them to remain in the United States, USCRI is urging the Biden administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ukraine. Individuals who are beneficiaries of TPS can apply for employment authorization, and are not removable from the United States for the duration of the TPS designation. At this moment, there is no TPS designation for Ukraine.

We are monitoring the situation closely, and will keep you abreast when further updates and information become available. 

If you require other legal needs, please contact an immigration attorney. USCRI offers legal services that can be contacted here. 

Q: What should I tell my family members who have applied to come to the United States through the Lautenberg program?

A: If your family member has an existing refugee case through the Lautenberg Program in Ukraine and has left the country, they should write to Resettlement Support Center (RSC) Eurasia at icc@iom.int and inform the RSC of their new location and contact details. If the cases are Ready for Departure and in a location where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) can organize their departure at the time, they will be informed by the RSC of the next steps. USRAP refugee applicants cannot self-arrange their travel. Pre-Embarkation Check (PEC) and departure have to be arranged by IOM. 

Q: What should I tell my family members who have not yet applied for refugee status or asylum but want to come to the United States? 

A: If you are a refugee or an asylee in the United States and want your family abroad to join you, there are various avenues to take. Please refer to USCIS guidance here and contact an immigration attorney. USCRI offers legal services that can be contacted here. 

Q: I am a Ukrainian fleeing Ukraine into a nearby country. Who can I call for information?

A: The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) has established two hotlines (527 toll-free from mobiles and 0-800-505-501 from landlines) to provide updates to people leaving Ukraine, including information on border crossings, required documentation and other entry requirements, as well as available assistance services in neighboring countries. The hotlines operate from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm daily. IOM hotline numbers and support contacts can be found here:

Q: I am a foreign student fleeing Ukraine into a nearby country. Who can I call for information?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has established an emergency hotline for foreign students wishing to leave Ukraine because of the Russian invassion. Those who require assistance can call, Viber or Telegram the following number: +380 93418 56 84. The questionnaire has also been created for collecting basic information about students and their whereabouts in order to advise them on the means available for their departure: https://cutt.ly/qAi9vBJ

Q: I am a Ukrainian fleeing Ukraine into a nearby country. Who should I be in touch with when I arrive?

For Ukrainians traveling to or present in other countries, please see below from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)’s Ukraine page for information about asylum procedures and where to go for help. 

BIPOC ( Black, Indigenous, and People of Color ) and Non-Ukrainian Citizens Support

Community-led Google doc (updated daily) – the document has information on the following topics: (1) contacts to communities embassies in neighboring countries; (2) asylum and legal advice in Germany; (3) hosts in Germany; (4) transport/supplies; (5) would you like to support; (6) psychological support.

Resources for Stateless People Fleeing Ukraine

Statefree – Supporting Stateless people from Ukraine – NGOs in the EU

Statefree – Explaining your statelessness in different languages 🇺🇦 🇷🇺 🇵🇱

Statefree – Fleeing from Ukraine as a stateless person

Current On the Ground Information 

USAID Ukraine: Humanitarian Impact Situation Report (As of 3:00 p.m. (EET), 28 February 2022)

UNHCR Briefing 01 March 2022

UNHCR Ukraine Operational Data Portal (updated daily)

UNHCR Ukraine Situation: Regional Refugee Response Plan