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LA County Leaders Order Up Plans To Help Ukrainians Who Resettle Here

A large half light blue on top, yellow on bottom Ukrainian flag is waved by a hand in shadow in front of a dark blue sky in front of the sun. Two other hands wave smaller Ukrainian flags in the air next to an obscured dark street light lamp post during the daytime in Santan Monica.
Hundreds participated in a Stand with Ukraine Rally in Santa Monica on Saturday, March 12, 2022.
(Daniella Segura
/
LAist)
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is calling on county departments, including the Office of Immigrant Affairs, to draw up plans to provide services for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion and help them resettle here.

That aid would include legal help, medical and mental health care and cash assistance.

Supervisor Hilda Solis said the county could help out local residents with loved ones in Ukraine who need help with paperwork for visa sponsorships.

"The motion here is to really try to provide the best information to our residents and send a message that we are welcoming those refugees that might find solace and a place here in L.A. County," Solis said.

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According to Solis' motion, about 26,000 people of Ukrainian descent live in L.A. County. As part of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, she traveled to the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 2007 and met several Ukrainian representatives.

"Now my heart breaks as the images of Ukrainians, particularly women and children suffering at the hands of a violent dictator," Solis said.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said that L.A. officials have worked to turn around their mixed record on welcoming immigrants.

On Wednesday morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a live video before the United States Congress to ask for more assistance, particularly more military aid to protect its airspace against a Russian onslaught.

Before concluding his address, Zelenskyy showed a video of his war-ravaged country that included chilling images of bloodied civilians and missiles striking Ukrainian buildings. By the end, almost every lawmaker stood and applauded the Ukrainian president.

The Biden administration recently extended Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians already living in the U.S., which will allow them to stay in the country for another 18 months.

The president also plans to send an additional $800 million in assistance to Ukraine.

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