(JustPatriots.com)- Since the Russian invasion began last week, over 200,000 Ukrainian citizens have fled to neighboring Poland.
Last Tuesday, the New York Times reported that most of the 4,700 members of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Poland were working to set up processing centers to prepare for the possible influx of Ukrainian refugees.
It is expected that as many as seven million Ukrainians will flee into neighboring countries to escape the ongoing conflict.
Emergency measures currently under discussion by the European Union could allow these refugees to remain for up to three years without a formal asylum process.
The EU is considering invoking a 2001 rule that would automatically grant refugees residence permits to any EU member state for three years. This rule was drawn up in response to the wars that followed the break-up of Yugoslavia but has never been used.
It would override national asylum procedures and grant Ukrainians immediate protection throughout the EU, allowing them the right to work and access to benefits, healthcare, and housing.
The hope is that using this rule will avoid the kind of bureaucratic logjams that leave asylum-seekers stuck in temporary accommodations unable to work until their claims have been reviewed.
Currently, Ukrainians can already stay in the EU for up to 90 days without a visa. As a result, many of the fleeing Ukrainians have opted to stay with friends or family rather than make asylum claims and go into shelters.
The United Nations refugee agency, UCHCR, said on Monday that over 500,000 have already fled across Ukraine’s borders. The anticipated number of refugees is expected to dwarf the 2015 migrant crisis which saw refugees from the Middle East flood into Europe.
Only this time, EU member countries have been far more united in allowing the Ukrainian refugees entry. Member states like Hungary and Poland that refused the mostly Syrian refugees in 2015 have opened their doors to their neighbors from Ukraine.
Prime Minister Victor Orban, a staunch opponent of the earlier migrant crisis, said on Monday that Hungary is prepared to take care of the Ukrainians who arrive in Hungary.