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Joy Ziegeweid

Americans Welcome Ukrainians, But America Doesn’t

The US urgently needs a better system to provide refuge to people fleeing violence and repression.

Navigate this.

Navigate this.

Photographer: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

Americans overwhelmingly say they want to welcome Ukrainians fleeing a Russian invasion that has displaced millions, laid waste to entire cities and horrified the world. Yet within the U.S. immigration system, an obstacle emerges: It’s hard to argue that Ukrainians should get “special” treatment, when so many other equally desperate asylum seekers, mostly non-White, have been rejected, jailed in inhumane conditions or stuck in interminable backlogs.

The solution: The U.S. must urgently reform its immigration system, so that quickly and efficiently providing refuge and work authorization to the most vulnerable migrants becomes the norm, not something special.