“It is paramount that all of these refugees have a safe place they can call home.“
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition released a statement on March 2 about the violence in Ukraine. Elizabeth Sweet, MIRA’s executive director, made the following declaration:
“We are deeply distraught by the crisis unfolding in Ukraine,” said Sweet. “Since the February 24th Russian invasion, more than 650,000 civilians have fled Ukraine. Alongside this, at least 160,000 Ukrainians have fled the war and remain displaced in their own country. Unfortunately, these numbers are only expected to grow, and grow dramatically. The overall number of refugees could climb as high as seven million. Upwards of 18 million Ukrainians will be impacted by the war.”
“Even though countries neighboring Ukraine have taken in massive sums of refugees, they have also displayed inhumane, racist attitudes toward non-white refugees. Specifically, Nigerian, Indian, and Lebanese refugees have struggled to escape Ukraine due to unjust actions by border guards and officials. It is absolutely essential that all nations reject these horrid attitudes and accept refugees regardless of their race or ethnicity.”
“As we witness the violence in Ukraine, we are also reminded of the millions of refugees around the world who are also fleeing conflict and dangerous conditions. Whether from Ukraine or Afghanistan or South Sudan, every person has the right to seek protection and safety, free of discrimination.”
“It is paramount that all of these refugees have a safe place they can call home. MIRA calls on the Biden administration to take immediate action to offer protection to Ukrainians currently in the US. And we encourage the administration to continue to rebuild our refugee resettlement infrastructure to enable us here in Massachusetts and around the country to welcome those most in need of protection.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.