WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and bipartisan members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who traveled to the Poland-Ukraine border together in early March, sent a letter to President Biden urging his support for a coalition of Ukrainian Americans working to bring approximately 600 Ukrainian orphans, and their caretakers, to a temporary stay in the United States.
The coalition working to bring the Ukrainian orphans and caretakers to the United States aims to establish an educational camp at an appropriate U.S. facility until it is safe for them to return home to Ukraine.
Members of the bipartisan CODEL to the Polish-Ukrainian border and signatories of the letter include House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (NY-05) and Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-05), Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07), Rep. Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01), Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-02).
“I will never forget the heartbreaking images we witnessed firsthand during our recent bipartisan CODEL trip to the Polish-Ukrainian border, seeing families torn apart and saying goodbye to one another, potentially for the last time. Tragically, once many of these families make the days-long treacherous journey to cross the border, they find themselves without shelter, food, or water,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “We must uphold our commitment to do everything in our power to protect our ally Ukraine, including the innocent Ukrainian mothers and children fleeing their war-torn country. I strongly urge the Administration to support the coalition of Ukrainian Americans in their efforts to transport roughly 600 vulnerable Ukrainian orphans and their caretakers to the U.S. and grant them temporary refuge so they may remain out of harm’s way.”
“The eight of us who travelled to Poland together will not soon forget the sight of 125,000 people streaming across the border in search of safety. I am grateful for their support in making good on our promises to do everything in our power to help the people of Ukraine, especially children,” said Rep. Susan Wild. “With Vladimir Putin now committing egregious war crimes against civilians, including the shelling of at least one orphanage, it is critical that we put the full support of the United States government behind legitimate and coordinated efforts to bring Ukrainian refugees to our soil until it is safe for them to return home.”
“I’m pleased to see continuing, bipartisan coordination to help Ukrainians left vulnerable by Putin’s war of choice, and I welcome the Biden Administration’s commitment to help find a safe path forward for Ukrainian refugees,” said Chairman Meeks. “I hope that executive branch agencies can work collaboratively with Congress and this coalition of concerned Americans to address the particular challenges these 600 orphans face.”
“No one who has seen firsthand the plight and suffering of Ukrainians seeking refuge from Vladimir Putin’s monstrous invasion could walk away without deep conviction that every possible step must be taken to help them,” said Rep. Connolly. “Putin has shown us time and again that his utter disregard for human life applies not only to soldiers and adult civilians, but to children and their caretakers. They need our help now, and we must be there to provide it.”
“Putin’s illegal war is tearing apart families – as women and children flee to safely, as parents are killed in attacks on apartment buildings and civilian areas, as soldiers are killed on the front lines. Among the most vulnerable left behind are orphans and they need our help and support,” said Rep. Cicilline. “As we work to end this war, and then help Ukraine rebuild, we need to provide safety and security for these children now.”
The letter can be viewed here.