The Plain Dealer: The U.S. can act to mitigate the Ukrainian refugee crisis: Laura Collins and David J. Kramer

Learn more about Ioanna Papas.
Ioanna Papas
Director, Communications
George W. Bush Institute

The U.S. has long served as a beacon for those fleeing the atrocities of conflict-ridden homelands. The United States must continue standing alongside all who are seeking freedom.

More than 3.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s unprovoked invasion. As European countries continue to open their doors to those seeking refuge, the United States must lead on immigration and resettlement. Laura Collins, Director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, and David J. Kramer, the Bradford M. Freeman Managing Director of Global Policy, outlined three things the United States must do in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: 


“The United States has three roles to play in mitigating the Ukrainian refugee crisis: protecting Ukrainians who are already here; supporting the European countries admitting the bulk of the refugees; and shoring up our own capacity so that we can share in the responsibility of resettlement.”


The authors explain how the United States lost its footing on leading refugee resettlement and share why it’s critical our Nation open up to refugees.


“The last few years of low refugee resettlement numbers in the United States weakened our ability to meet our humanitarian obligations, and we can’t just flip a switch to increase our capacity. At this time of record global displacement, we must be ready to offer a haven not just to Ukrainians, but also to Syrians, Afghans, and Burmese, as well as during the next refugee crisis.


Americans have generously embraced those fleeing war, oppression, and persecution through most of our history – but our reputation as a beacon of freedom and opportunity for all was tarnished by our unwillingness over the past five years to welcome more refugees.


That started changing last fall when we welcomed Afghans fleeing the Taliban. Let’s keep up the momentum by opening our doors to Ukrainians, too.”