WASHINGTON — A U.S. official says the United States will welcome up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine as 3.5 million flee Russia’s invasion.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement later Thursday.
The White House has been saying for weeks that the U.S. would accept refugees from Ukraine, but officials had expected most would want to remain in Europe to stay close to their homeland or to family members around Eastern Europe.
Refugee agencies had urged the Biden administration to do more, saying the U.S. could expedite the entry of Ukrainians who had already been in the process of applying to enter the United States through the country’s refugee program or expanding the total number of Ukrainians who could come into the country under the cap that the administration sets in consultation with Congress.
Previously, the Biden administration set the refugee cap for budget year 2022 at 125,000 after it had been cut to a record low of 15,000 under former President Donald Trump.