Oregon family trying to get relatives stuck in Ukraine to the US

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KGW) — The latest data from the United Nations estimates more than 4,000,000 people have fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.

However, an Oregon City family has loved ones stuck in the country and they’ve been trying desperately to get them out of the war zone and to the U.S.

Yuliia Paliukh lives in Oregon City with her dad. She was born in Ukraine where many of her family still lives. “My mom, my sister with family. She has two kids,” said Paliukh. “And I have many aunts and uncles and cousins they are still living over there.”

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been hostile for years, because of that Paliukh said as permanent U.S. residents, they’ve been trying for some time to bring her mom and brother into the country.

“My dad applied for papers for them, documents in 2018 but this process taking too long, especially with COVID times,” explained Paliukh.

And now, the war adds another layer of uncertainty. Erick Widman, an immigration lawyer with Passage Immigration Law said since the start of the war, there’s been an influx of Oregonians trying to get family members from Ukraine to Oregon.

“The process, on average, takes about a year,” said Widman. “So, what used to take 12-14 months can likely expand to a year and a half to two years unless they drastically ramp up staff at U.S. Embassies around the world.”

The Biden administration recently announced the United States would accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine. Paliukh hopes this announcement is the push needed to ramp up the process to bring her loved ones to Oregon City.

“I believe in miracles,” she said. “Because we really want to see our family here.”

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