WASHINGTON – In a bicameral letter to the President of the European Commission, Helsinki Commissioners Gwen Moore (WI-04), Marc Veasey (TX-33) joined Helsinki Commission Chairman Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Steve Cohen (TN-09) to call for a comprehensive plan of action to address recent reports of racial profiling and discrimination at border crossings, namely efforts to prevent Africans and other non-white residents residing in Ukraine from fleeing to safe havens in neighboring countries due to the large-scale Russian invasion.
The legislators urged the European Commission to release information they have obtained regarding such reports, to take steps immediately to ensure that all who are threatened by the ongoing conflict can flee to safety in nearby nations without having to face racial or other forms of discrimination as they cross international borders, and ask that a thorough investigation be conducted into the difficulties non-white refugees fleeing Ukraine are facing as they try to flee the country.
“It is critical that as this humanitarian crisis unfolds, the protection of all asylum seekers on an equal basis without respect to race, religion, or nationality be the concern of border officials both in Ukraine and receiving countries,” the members wrote. “Unfortunately, we are deeply troubled by these reports of blatant racial bias and discrimination against vulnerable refugees and ask for your leadership in strongly condemning any such acts, swiftly investigate the claims, and move quickly see that they stop, that all refugees can continue to freely move to safety and are able to receive food, water, and other basic humanitarian supplies as they undertake this arduous and dangerous effort to find safety.”
Full text of the letter is available here.