Boston – Today, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition issued a statement on the crisis in Ukraine.
“We are deeply distraught by the crisis unfolding in Ukraine,” said Elizabeth Sweet, Executive Director of the MIRA Coalition. “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.”
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition is New England’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the rights and inclusion of immigrants and refugees. The MIRA Coalition includes 130-plus organizational members, including grassroots community organizations; refugee resettlement agencies; providers of social, legal and health services, faith-based organizations and civil and human rights advocates.