NY launches website for families to get Ukrainian relatives here

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York’s governor Thursday announced a new state tool for resources for Ukrainian refugees and for New Yorkers trying to help them.

This followed President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new program for Ukrainian refugees to obtain humanitarian parolee status through an expedited channel with the help of an American sponsor.

"This program will be fast, it’ll be streamlined, and it will ensure the United States honors its commitment to go to the people of Ukraine and need not go through our southern border," Biden said.

New York has the largest Ukrainian American population in the country. Gov. Kathy Hochul addressed Biden’s program during a press conference shortly after it was announced.

"I think it’s going to be a big sigh of relief among family members here, as well as the Ukrainian businesses, Ukrainian churches, we’ve visited them all and now they’ll be able to take this great step toward the unification of Ukrainians and their family members here and want to get them here," Hochul said.

She is encouraging any New Yorkers who are interested to go to NY.gov/ukraine for more information about the program.

News10NBC has interviewed several families in the area who may be helped by this program, including Elina Jordan of Pittsford who is trying to help her sister and nieces get to the United State and the Pulci family from Hilton, which was in the process of adopting their 11-year-old Ukrainian son when the conflict broke out, stalling the adoption.