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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Ukrainians, but not Afghans, get fast track to U.S.

Ukrainian refugees crossing into Poland. Photo: Wikipedia

The Biden administration’s Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program “offered Ukrainians a limited form of private refugee sponsorship” not available to Afghans, writes Somin, a law professor at George Mason University.

While Ukrainian refugees are fast-tracked, Afghans must apply through the  humanitarian parole program, which requires them to prove they are being targeted as an individual for persecution. The fee is $575 per applicant.

Some see a racial motive, writes Somin.

I think the main factors are 1) Ukrainian refugees are far more visibly in the news right now, and 2) the US is supporting Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression, while the Biden Administration (like Trump’s before it) clearly wants to wash its hands of Afghanistan.” Still, there is a degree of unjust discrimination here, even if the motive for it isn’t racial. It is even arguable that the US has an especially great obligation to Afghan refugees, because their plight is in large part a result of failures of US policy in Afghanistan. By contrast, the US government has far less moral responsibility for the situation in Ukraine.

Somin, whose family came to America from the Soviet Union in 1979, when he was five years old, wants to open America’s doors wider to people fleeing war and oppression. “Doing so would simultaneously promote justice, serve US strategic interests by “draining” human capital from our adversaries, and bolster our economy by expanding growth and scientific innovation.”

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