International News

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Welcomes Temporary Protected Status Designation for Ukraine, Urges Support for Refugees

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas designated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on March 3. In response to this designation and the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, praised the move.

Refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine wait at the border crossing in Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia, March 3, 2022. (Photo: CNS/Lukasz Glowala, Reuters)

“I have watched with deep concern, along with so many others around the world, the unfolding events in Ukraine and the devastation facing the Ukrainian people,” Bishop Dorsonville said in a March 4 statement.

“Many Ukrainians have demonstrated incredible resolve and bravery in the face of danger over recent days,” he said. “Many others, especially children and the elderly, have been forced to seek safety, either within Ukraine or in neighboring countries.

TPS allows foreign nationals to remain and work in the United States during a period in which it is deemed unsafe for them to return to their home country. 

“In these internally displaced persons and refugees, we are reminded of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt and the vulnerability of our infant Lord.”

The Catholic Church in the United States, as it has done for decades, would “continue to welcome and serve refugees from all walks of life,” Bishop Dorsonville said. 

“The United Nations has indicated that this conflict could result in five million refugees fleeing Ukraine,” the bishop said. “Though the importance of humanitarian assistance cannot be understated, we also call on the Biden Administration and Congress to ensure that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program receives all necessary resources to reflect our country’s true capacity for providing refuge and welcome.”

Bishop Dorsonville said he joins Pope Francis and the Church around the world in praying for peace to prevail.

“May Saint Joseph,” he said, “who once sought safety for his own family, intercede for us and all those forced to leave their homes in the face of violence.”