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    Biden to detail new military aid plan for Ukraine – US politics live

    It looks like we have a lot of Ukraine news coming out of the US this morning. In addition to speaking about providing more military assistance, it appears Joe Biden will be speaking momentarily about at new program that will allow US citizens to directly sponsor the immigration of displaced Ukrainian refugees in Europe, to speed up the travel process.

    NEW: President Biden will today announce a new program for US citizens to directly sponsor displaced Ukrainians in Europe, and quickly approve travel to the US

    More from senior officials this morning 👇🏾

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    The program is called “Uniting for Ukraine,” part of Biden’s commitment to welcome up to 100k Ukrainians into the US. Officials say it’s an “expression of solidarity with displaced Ukrainians and a “clear signal of support” for European nations hosting historic number of refugees

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    How does it work?
    Starting 4/25 (when portal goes live): US sponsors directly upload an affidavit to sponsor a specific Ukrainian person/family. Sponsor must pass background checks, vetting to prove they can financially support Ukrainians, etc — could all happen within a week

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    Then: Ukrainian person/family gets notified sponsor is approved. Background checks/vetting begin on *that* end. To be eligible: must have a US sponsor, must pass biometric screening, must be vaccinated.

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    Once vetting on both sides complete, sponsored Ukrainians granted travel authorization to US, humanitarian parole protection for two years.

    US officials envision this program will comprise “the majority of the 100,000 people” President Biden committed to bring to the US.

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    What about Ukrainians at the border?

    US has already allowed in around 15,000 who came to Mexico seeking US entry. Senior DHS official says *beginning 4/25* – once this program is live – Ukrainians at the southern border will be subject to same Title 42 expulsion as anyone else.

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    I asked if any talk of expanding program to other refugees in Europe- Syria, Afghanistan,etc

    Snr official says no. “this [Ukrainian] population is really unique” – most requests for refuge “temporary in nature” – diff from others who fled + been living in 3rd countries for yrs.

    — amna (@IAmAmnaNawaz) April 21, 2022

    Ukraine prime minister Denys Shmyhal is in Washington today. As we reported yesterday, he will be meeting with House speaker Nancy Pelosi and other bipartisan congressional leaders later, but it appears he will also be meeting with defense secretary Lloyd Austin:

    Ukraine’s prime minister will be at the Pentagon later today for a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Austin.

    — Idrees Ali (@idreesali114) April 21, 2022

    Biden to provide an update on Ukraine and Russia

    Howdy, live blog readers. Let’s get to it.

    Joe Biden is scheduled to take to the podium today at the White House at 9.45am ET to provide an update on Ukraine and Russia.

    An anonymous official told the Associated Press that Biden is planning to detail his plans to build on the roughly $2.6bn in military assistance that his administration has already approved for Ukraine.

    This new package should be similar in size to the $800m package that Biden announced last week, and will include much needed heavy artillery and ammunition for Ukrainian forces in the escalating battle for the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

    Yesterday, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters that five flights with military assistance have arrived in the region over the last few days, with more than half a dozen flights from the US scheduled to arrive shortly with even more equipment.

    Biden yesterday lauded military officials for “exceptional” work arming Ukraine as he gathered the nation’s military brass for their first in-person group meeting at the White House of his presidency.

    “I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to Ukraine a number of times before the war … and I knew they were tough and proud but I tell you what: they’re tougher and more proud than I thought,” Biden told military commanders. “I’m amazed at what they’re doing with your help.”

    More to come.

    After we closed the blog down yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked the justice department to file an an appeal seeking to overturn a judge’s order that voided the federal mask mandate on planes and trains and in travel hubs.

    Biden administration officials had said they were awaiting the guidance of health officials before determining whether to file an appeal of the ruling made by Florida district court judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, the youngest Donald Trump appointee to the federal bench, and minutes after the CDC asked, notice of appeal was filed in federal court in Tampa.

    As you can imagine with this highly politicized ruling, reaction to the appeal was staunchly bipartisan, with conservatives rallying against the appeal and Democrats supporting it.

    Biden’s Justice Department (his thugs) want to appeal the removal of their unconstitutional travel mask mandate.

    LOL.

    The regime hates freedom and you will continue to suffer while they are in office. https://t.co/2hIQjVu1fu

    — Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 20, 2022

    The Biden Administration will appeal the ruling that lifted the COVID mask mandate on travel.

    If it were up to them, they’d keep masks on Americans and their children indefinitely!

    — Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) April 20, 2022

    A DOJ appeal makes good sense. All but the most ideology-driven panel would reverse the clearly erroneous district court decision, and the case won’t be legally moot even if CDC temporarily lifts its mask mandate in early May because the need could recur. https://t.co/QXVb0r87LS

    — Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) April 21, 2022

    More to come.



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