Merski resolution urges greater U.S. involvement to aid Ukrainian refugees

Calls for expanded role in accepting refugees, assisting Polish border cities

ERIE, April 1 – State Rep. Bob Merski has introduced a resolution urging the U.S. government to broaden its role in addressing the Ukrainian refugee crisis by admitting more refugees and increasing aid to Poland as it assists millions crossing the border to safety there.

Merski said he anticipates strong support for H.R. 191, as Pennsylvania is home to the second-highest number of Ukrainian Americans in the nation.

“Erie and other Pennsylvania cities with vibrant Ukrainian communities feel a deeply personal connection to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Europe,” Merski said. “Our efforts to help our sister city sister of Lublin, Poland, have shown us the magnitude of the problem, as we’ve learned the details about how officials there and in other Polish cities are working around the clock desperately trying to keep pace with the thousands of people arriving every day.

“Our community and others like it have stepped up to help, but we need a more widescale effort from the federal government, which has accepted a relatively small number of refugees so far. My resolution urges Congress and President Biden to increase admission of Ukrainian refugees here in the states and to direct more humanitarian aid to Poland.

“Our nation has a special history of opening its arms broadly to those needing a home, and we need to do that now to help stem the largest refugee crisis since World War II.”

Calling for solidarity with Poland and the millions of Ukrainians forced from their homes, the resolution urges Congress and Biden to act quickly on behalf of nearly 3 million Ukrainians who have fled their country. At the time of the resolution’s drafting in March, more than 1.8 million Ukrainian refugees had already entered Poland – enough people to match the entire population of Warsaw.

The necessities drive Merski launched earlier this month to send supplies to Lublin has drawn a large response from Erie residents and the business community. Erie-based Logistics Plus is helping to coordinate delivery of supplies and provide additional on-site assistance through its Ukraine-based staff.