March 01, 2022

Cortez Masto Calls on Administration to Offer Protections to Ukrainians Currently in the US

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and other Senate colleagues in a bipartisan letter to President Biden urging the Administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ukrainians in the United States following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. 

“In light of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, we respectfully request that your Administration promptly take all necessary steps to ensure that Ukrainian nationals present in the United States are not forced to return to Ukraine, including the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS),” the Senators wrote. “As you know, TPS can be granted to nationals of another country who are currently residing in the United States if returning to their country would pose a serious threat to their personal safety because of ongoing armed conflict, the temporary effects of an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS allows eligible nationals of designated countries to remain in the United States legally until the expiration of the TPS designation.”

The Senators’ letter continues: “Granting TPS to the limited population of Ukrainians who are currently in the U.S. on a temporary basis will create a minimal disruption for our country, but forcing these individuals to return to a war zone would be unacceptable. Forcing Ukrainian nationals to return to Ukraine in the midst of a war would be inconsistent with America’s values and our national security interests. As a nation, we must do our part to protect the safety of Ukrainians in the United States by designating Ukraine for TPS.”

Established by the U.S. Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990, TPS is a temporary, renewable program that provides relief from deportation and access to a work permit for foreign nationals from certain countries who are unable to return safely to their home country due to natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other extraordinary conditions.

Full text of today’s letter is available here.

Senator Cortez Masto has consistently advocated for the U.S. to stand up to Russia aggression and support Ukrainian sovereignty. Last month, she voted in support of sanctions against Russia and its Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and she supported similar sanctions in the 2020 and 2021 National Defense Authorization Acts.