Joe Biden ‘to announce fast-track scheme for LGBT+ Ukrainians’ after being urged to do more
Joe Biden is reportedly set to expedite the resettlement of some Ukrainian refugees, according to NBC News.
The plan will reportedly be unveiled as early as this week, three sources told the network, and will allow vulnerable Ukrainians including members of the LGBT+ community, activists and journalists to safely enter the US.
It would also reportedly expedite those Ukrainians with American family members entering the country.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday (22 March) that Biden will “announce further American contributions to a coordinated humanitarian response to ease the suffering of the civilians inside Ukraine, and to respond to the growing flow of refugees.”
NBC News added that plans to resettle Ukrainian refugees in the US may be temporary, as officials believe most refugees will wish to eventually return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so.
Over the weekend it was reported that several US politicians urged Biden to put measures in place to protect LGBT+ Ukrainians from Russian persecution.
A group of 70 house Democrats sent a letter to Biden and secretary of state Antony Blinken on Thursday (17 March), stating that as the US takes action to aid Ukraine, it must “dedicate sufficient resources and attention to Ukrainian members of groups that have historically faced violence and persecution under Russian rule and occupation”.
The letter referenced Russia’s previous attacks on the queer community, which has caused LGBT+ Ukrainians to live in fear since the invasion of the country in February.
“As you know, LGBTQI+ people widely face discrimination and persecution in Russia. In Chechnya, reports have documented what has been described as a large-scale ‘anti-gay purge’ by Russian security forces,” the letter continued.
“When the killings of gay men began in Chechnya in 2017, the Trump administration was slow to respond and failed to work with organisations that resettle LGBTQI+ people who faced danger. We cannot repeat the previous administration’s mistakes.”
Lenny Ensom, director of Kyiv Pride, added that LGBT+ Ukrainians will need a great amount of overseas support in order to fight back against Russian forces.
He said: “I think right now, when we continue to fight, it’s absolutely clear that Ukraine needs more help and then we will win.”