Ukraine Aid Package Reflects U.S. Values and Protects National Security
May 19, 2022
It’s been nearly three violent and treacherous months since Russia invaded Ukraine. The United Nations estimates that more than 6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the conflict began, with the majority settling for now in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe.
This week, the Senate approved a more than $40 billion Ukraine spending bill that would provide $900 million to assist Ukrainian refugees and $350 million to address humanitarian needs in Ukraine and other countries impacted by the war. The bill would also allow Ukrainian parolees the ability to access some resettlement benefits offered to refugees here in the United States.
The Council on National Security and Immigration supports this spending package. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters this week after returning from Ukraine, “It’s important for the United States to help; it’s important for the free world to help.” He added, “It’s important for the Ukrainians to win.”
Indeed, a win for Ukraine benefits U.S. national security and strengthens our country’s standing in the world. The military aid in this package is critical to achieve that.
Some lawmakers remain wary of the cost or unconvinced that this funding is a U.S. priority, but Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) said it most convincingly and succinctly: “I think you can defend this vote as a vote that is very vital to America’s national security interest.”
The inclusion of funding for Ukrainian refugees and parolees is also imperative and reflects U.S. values. Ukrainian nationals seeking refuge should not have to enter the U.S. via the Mexican border. Just as millions of Americans proudly bear the Ukrainian flag on their front porches to honor Ukrainians' fight to defend their freedom and our shared democratic principles, we should open our arms and communities to allow Ukrainians seeking refuge to settle in the United States.
The world has looked to the United States as a nation of freedom and opportunity for many, but particularly for providing protections to those fleeing danger. Our history as a global leader on immigration and refugee resettlement has long been a source of strength and an example to our neighbors and allies. This funding is an important step toward upholding that legacy and once again serving as a bastion against forces of autocracy, illiberalism, and cruelty.