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March 03, 2022

Letter to the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security urging the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas 

Secretary of Homeland Security 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

301 7th St, SW 

Washington, DC 20528 

The Honorable Antony Blinken 

Secretary of State 

U.S. Department of State 

2201 C St, NW 

Washington, DC 20520 

Dear Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Blinken: 

I write on behalf of the American Bar Association (ABA) to urge you to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) pursuant to Section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and grant all eligible nationals or residents of Ukraine in the United States TPS for a period of eighteen months, with extensions as necessary.  

The world has watched in horror as the Russian Federation’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine continues unabated. Missile attacks and shelling continue in numerous locations around the country. Airspace over Ukraine is closed, martial law has been declared, and there have been many military and civilian casualties. More than one million persons are internally displaced and nearly 700,000 have sought refuge in countries bordering Ukraine. Those who remain face grave physical danger, as well as shortages of food, medical assistance, and other life sustaining necessities. The situation grows more dire each hour.  

The ABA has long supported a humane and enforceable safe haven mechanism to provide protection to persons who are unable to return to their home countries due to conditions that endanger their safety and well-being, such as natural disasters and armed conflict. TPS is warranted in situations, as here, where extraordinary conditions exist that prevent nationals of the country considered for TPS designation from returning to their home countries in safety, assuming they meet other statutory requirements. Persons granted TPS may remain in the United States during the designation period and are eligible to receive work authorization. The limited scope of TPS helps ensure that its provision functions as true humanitarian protection and not as an inducement for migration.