Global Cleveland calls for action to prepare for Ukrainian refugees

Global Cleveland’s mission is to attract, welcome, and connect international newcomers to economic, social, and educational opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Not only are we the bridge that connects newcomers to resources, but we are also ardent advocates who use our platform to amplify the voices and needs of our international community.

Our staff and board have spent countless hours meeting with Ukrainians, government officials, and fellow refugee resettlement organizations in the month since Russia invaded Ukraine. From this, we have pinpointed three actions that will ease the resettlement process for Ukrainians finding refuge in Northeast Ohio.

  1. We call for the federal government to extend the application deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to all Ukrainian refugees until December 31, 2022. As it currently stands, refugees can only receive TPS status if they arrived in the U.S. before March 1, 2022. Ukrainians have just begun entering the United States in earnest. Extending TPS will offer Ukrainians a greater degree of protection and opportunity.
  2. We call for the federal government to provide unrestricted work visas for Ukrainians until December 31, 2023. Ukrainian refugees want and need to work. With unrestricted work visas, Ukrainians can fill gaps in Ohio’s workforce deficit, helping support the economy by addressing the demand for workers.
  3. We ask that the federal government direct $20,000,000 to Northeast Ohio in order to help Ukrainian refugees. As a region that is home to one of the country’s largest populations of Ukrainians, we expect a large influx of refugees and are already seeing Ukrainians seeking refuge in Northeast Ohio.

All of the actions we propose are informed by the needs expressed by the international community and our experience welcoming newcomers in times of crisis. We expected to receive 400 Afghanistan refugees but have gladly welcomed over 1,000 individuals to make a home for themselves in our region. We must be prepared to welcome Ukrainian refugees with just as much fervor.

We are grateful for the continued support shown to our organization from Ohio elected officials and the Northeast Ohio community at large. The interest expressed to us in regard to volunteering, donating, and welcoming Ukrainians is a testament to the outstanding humanitarian qualities of our community. We encourage those who want to get more involved to sign up to volunteer their services at