I am a second-generation American of Russian descent and the first member of my immediate family to be born in the United States. The past seven months have been some of the most trying for our community. Our people have grappled with the reality that the leadership of their country of origin has committed the atrocity of attacking as neighboring country, with which tens of millions of Russians have a direct personal, familial, or professional connection — my own brother runs a business with production based in Kharkiv. The Russian-American community has organized to raise money and material aid to Ukraine. My aforementioned brother has sent the equivalent of more than a million dollars through his supply line while simultaneously facing down a barrage of Russophobia associated with our language and our physical presence. For example, my sister’s car was vandalized with a swastika. Now, with a mass mobilization underway in Russia and the government likely days away from shutting the borders to able-bodied men, it is critical to update our immigration policy in relation to these people. You can help us by sending the following letter to our congressional representatives! Simply enter your zip code at sires.house.gov or payne.house.gov by entering the Newark zip code 07102 and copy the following email.
Scan the QR code for an online link to this petition.
A Letter to Your Representatives
The Honorable Representatives Sires and Payne
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
My name is [your name], and I reside in your district. I write to you today to urge you to pass a bill classifying Russian citizens fleeing Putin’s mobilization as refugees, making them eligible for asylum in the United States.
After a seven-month-long unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine, Putin is facing a strong possibility of defeat. On Sep. 21, 2022, in a pathetic and desperate attempt to avoid facing defeat, he ordered the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of new troops. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the conscription of at least 300,000 men with military backgrounds in a press statement.
Mere minutes after his announcement, countless flights out of Russia sold out, as very few people want to die for the dictator’s power grab. They now face an uncertain future, as most only have tourist visas at best. Several bordering Baltic states, including Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, have explicitly stated they will not allow Russian tourists entry.
Back in Russia, protests ranging in the tens of thousands have erupted in every city from the Baltic to the Pacific. At least 1,300 people were arrested on Sep. 21, tens of thousands have fled the country and at least ten military enlistment offices have been set on fire, according to the Associated Press. These figures continue to grow rapidly.
By granting asylum to Russians escaping Putin’s mobilization, the United States can weaken Russia’s military without having fired a single shot by preventing the military from reaching its recruiting goals. Such a policy will also save countless military and civilian lives.
These people will be an asset to the United States’ economy. Forbes reports that 450,000 students graduate from Russian universities with engineering degrees every year; this number is one of the highest in the world. This applies to many other STEM fields and can be observed in the established Russian immigrant community in the United States.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you will consider classifying Russians fleeing mobilization as refugees, making them eligible for asylum in the United States. Please contact me should you wish to discuss this further.
[Your phone number]