LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Lending a helping hand for his ancestral homeland. A valley Ukrainian American is using his expertise as an immigration lawyer to help his community as families have questions on whether they can get loved ones out of Ukraine.
Vladimir Goutsaliouk’s mind and heart are with Ukraine, his country of birth. “First of all, it’s been difficult for me to even and I try and I must and need to function and continue practicing law.”
He’s in dismay seeing the conflict forcing so many people to flee. As an immigration lawyer in Las Vegas and fluent Ukrainian speaker, he has been taking many questions about the refugee process and how to get loved ones to the U.S.
“I do answer these questions daily right now. In fact, I’m trying to be flexible and helpful,” he said.
The United Nation’s high commissioner for refugees says more than 2.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia invaded. Many are choosing to stay in Europe. But Goutsaliouk says some may choose to come to America. He says so far, there’s no expedited refugee process for Ukrainians here.
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“It would have to be a special program approved by Congress and it would have to go through this process of vetting, and it would be a long process,” he said.
He says the Department of Homeland Security is giving Ukrainian nationals temporary protected status for 18 months. That should help those who are already in the U.S. stay to put. However, Goutsaliouk hopes to see a pathway to permanent residency for refugees who choose to stay.
“But at least a number of the most deserving refugees if you will. We’d like to see if there would be some way to bring these people here,” he said.
For more updates on Ukraine, including stories with a local connection, visit ktnv.com/Ukraine.