Indian River News recently had the chance to sit with local Indian River County Farmer Brian Quant, who has taken in 9 refugees from Ukraine, due to the war Ukraine is fighting on its own soil against Russia since February 2022.
Quant is a friend of local talk host Rhett Palmer. Palmer is an affiliate of Indian River News and asked us as a publication to interview Quant about how he has taken in 9 refugees from Ukraine and is encouraging others to do the same.
Quant discovered a program through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called ‘Uniting for Ukraine.’
Uniting for Ukraine is a program where citizens can apply to come to the United States under refugee status. All the refugees need is an American citizen willing to sponsor them to come to the United States.
According to the USCIS website, the refugees from Ukraine are here in the United States for a temporary “2 year period of parole.”
Quant said the forms are completely electronic and the specific form for the refugee application is called Form I-134.
Quant said the information he had about this very program was provided by Congressman Bill Posey’s Office.
Quant filled out 14 applications and was only allowed to take in 9 of the applicants. He said USCIS determined Quant had hit his limit at 9 people.
Quant said there are certain responsibilities that a sponsor has, such as helping each refugee get housing and work.
Quant for those interested in helping Ukrainian refugees come to the United States, they can go to welcome.us and make an account. On Welcome.US, interested Americans can message interested Ukrainians that want to come to the United States.
Messages are translated between English and Ukrainian, helping to break the language barrier.
Quant said you can talk with the refugee and see if the two of you are a good fit. If things work out, submit the application for wanting to take in the refugee as provided on the USCIS website.
Quant and a Ukrainian refugee with he had with him during our interview, said around 30% of Ukrainians can speak English, mainly the younger generation.
Click the following link for more information on USCIS’s refugee program: https://www.uscis.gov/ukraine
The Situation in Ukraine
Quant said currently in Ukraine is experiencing rolling blackouts and limited internet access.
Currently the Russians have pulled back a little bit, mainly due to the winter. Around February there could be a very large offensive by the Russian Military.
Call with Ukrainian During Interview
There was a Ukrainian woman named Julia that called Quant during our interview. Julia lives in Kiyv, the capital of Ukraine.
We spoke with Julia about what has been going on from her perspective in Ukraine during the war with Russia.
Julia said Ukraine is still facing attacks from Russa, specifically damaged power infrastructure and lack of internet access.
There’s people that are leaving Ukraine and are looking for sponsors to go to either the United States or the United Kingdom.
There’s also been no running water in Ukraine and it is not good for families.
Julia said it can be very cold in Ukraine due to lack of power. Temperatures have been running as low as -20 Degrees Celsius/ -4 Degrees Fahrenheit.
At the time of our interview, Julia said the temperature in Kiyv was -8 Degrees Celcius / 17.6 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Julia has applied for the United For Ukraine program in the United States and is looking for a sponsor.
Final Remarks from Quant
Quant and the refugee that was with him during the interview said the exchange rate for the Ukrainian currency called hryvnia, is very low compared with that of the U.S. Dollar.
Quant also said anyone who has a stable income can help Ukrainian refugees to come to America. Will require some time to help the Ukrainians to come to America.
Quant is willing to help others with the process of getting Ukrainian refugees to America, including Julia. His phone number is 772-559-2151. Quant gave Indian River News permission to publish his phone number.
Quant also said those who may want to become more familiar with Ukraine can watch the show now Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy starred in called ‘Servant of the People’ as the title role. Ironically, Zelenskyy played a fictional President of Ukraine in the show.
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