Protect Ukrainians in the US with immediate designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Special Student Relief (SSR) for Ukraine

(Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Escalating violence and the devolving humanitarian crisis post-Russian military invasion makes it impossible for Ukrainians currently in the U.S. to safely return to Ukraine at this time.

We ask President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, and Secretary Blinken for an immediate 18-month designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Special Student Relief (SSR) for Ukraine.

Migration Policy Institute estimates that roughly 30,000 Ukrainians in the United States would be potential beneficiaries of TPS or DED, as they do not have U.S. citizenship or permanent status.


TPS is a statutory status that allows people from a designated country to remain in the United States while conditions in their home country make a safe return impossible. The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can designate a country for TPS if conditions in that country meet the requirements regarding ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions preventing a safe return. Those who are granted TPS are eligible to receive work permits and remain in the United States during the designation period. Significantly, TPS can safeguard those who have been denied or may be ineligible for asylum but are still in need of lifesaving protection.

DED is rooted in the President’s authority to conduct foreign affairs and is a critical foreign policy tool to provide humanitarian protection. Like TPS, DED provides protection from deportation and eligibility for work permits for designated time periods.

SSR may be granted to students from a designated country under an emergent circumstances designation. The Secretary of DHS may give this designation to F-1 students facing unforeseen, severe economic hardship. This hardship must result from an emergent event, such as war or military conflict. SSR allows eligible students to remain in the U.S. by suspending or altering rules regarding status, full course of study, and work eligibility during the designation period. SSR, like TPS, provides life-saving protection.

Ukraine is in the midst of armed conflict contributing to deteriorating country conditions and humanitarian crises.

We urge the administration to:
(1) immediately designate TPS or DED and SSR for Ukraine,
(2) publish timely Federal Register Notices,
(3) launch a public information campaign to notify the impacted community of the decision and any actions they must take by the decision’s announcement.
Letter Campaign by
Samuel Chu
Korb, Germany