(Adds Rep. Doggett comment in fifth and sixth paragraphs.)
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The Biden administration is extending deportation protections to more Ukrainian nationals in response to the ongoing war with Russia.
A Federal Register notice set to publish Tuesday broadens the eligibility for Ukrainians in the U.S. to get Temporary Protected Status, which includes work authorization and protection from deportation. Eligible Ukrainians in the U.S. since April 11 can now apply for status, which will last for 18 months.
A previous announcement from the Biden administration offered status to those in the U.S. since March 1. The date change nearly doubles the estimate of people eligible for protection—nearly 60,000 now, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
More Ukrainians, mostly those with family connections, have fled to the U.S. in the months since Russia invaded. The Biden administration faces pressure to do more to help Ukrainians in the U.S. and those who would like to settle here.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who led a bipartisan push to move the eligibility date, praised the administration’s “prompt, positive response.”
“We will continue working with the Administration to implement our other recommendations to ease bureaucratic hurdles that delay them reuniting with family in the U.S.,” he said in a statement. Doggett and others have pushed for closer coordination between the National Visa Center and U.S. embassies, increased approvals of physicians who can do medical exams required for immigrant visas, and waivers of filing fees for Ukrainians petitioning for visas.
DHS on Tuesday will also formally publish TPS designations for Sudanese nationals originally announced last month. DHS estimates roughly 3,000 individuals from Sudan residing in the U.S. since March 1 will be eligible for protections.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also publish Federal Register notices allowing Ukrainian and Sudanese students on F-1 visas to request work authorization and reduce their course loads for 18 months.