Administration officials have not set a deadline for accepting refugees.
President Joe Biden will announce on Thursday that the United States will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, a senior administration official said.
“To fulfill this commitment, we are considering the full range of legal avenues in the United States, including the US refugee admission program, parole and immigrant and nonimmigrant visas,” the official told reporters.
The official added that the pledge to accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees was not bound by any deadline.
The official reiterated that the administration still believes that most refugees would prefer to stay in neighboring countries or elsewhere in the European Union.
The cities and countries of Eastern Europe are full of refugees. A senior administration official told ABC News last week that the U.S. refugee program was “not an emergency response program, so our goal would be to provide humanitarian assistance to keep people safe for the time being.”
The process of refugees staying in the United States is complicated. This requires verification as well as referrals from a UN agency. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the administration was “keeping an eye on what we can do in the near future.”
The White House has not made specific announcements about how it will process these refugees. Administrative officials said the specific announcement would be made “next week.”
The resettlement process for refugees can also take years. In February, the U.S. admitted 427 Ukrainian refugees out of a total of 2,133, according to the State Department.
More than 3.6 million refugees have fled the country since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the UN refugee agency. Most of the refugees have fled to nearby countries, with more than 2 million people entering Poland.
U.S. embassies and consulates in the region are processing emergency visa applications but are overwhelmed.
“We are not able to process the volume of people who are considering it as an alternative,” a senior administration official said last week.
Under U.S. law, an immigrant visa only applies to close family members – spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents. Families who are not in this category may file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to have their case approved.
On Thursday, Biden will announce a new fund of more than 1 1 billion for humanitarian aid to the victims of the Russian war. “This fund will be in addition to the funds we have already provided and will provide food, shelter, clean water, medical supplies and other assistance,” a senior administrative official told reporters. The United States will provide $ 11 billion over the next five years to address food security threats and malnutrition worldwide. This will be done through the Feed the Future initiative.
Conner Finagan of ABC News contributed to this report.