A similar pattern played out in the United States around Cuban refugees, said Stephanie R. Schwartz, a political scientist at the University of Southern California who studies forced migration.
Russia-Ukraine War: Key Developments
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Pushing for more sanctions. E.U. leaders are weighing a ban on buying Russian coal and a ban on Russian vessels in European ports. If approved, the measures would be the harshest the bloc has enforced so far. The United States is also expected to impose broad sanctions on two Russian banks.
On the ground. Russia has nearly completed its withdrawal from around Kyiv and is preparing for intensified assaults against eastern and southern Ukraine, according to military analysts. Russian forces continued to bombard the southern city of Mariupol,
“During heightened anti-Communist eras of the Cold War, we see the U.S. was really welcoming to Cuban refugees because these were people coming from a ‘rival’ government, and we wanted to frame Castro and his regime as being horrible,” she said. “But by the time that Clinton is in office, that specter is falling away, and the Berlin Wall has fallen. The U.S. changes our tune on Cuba as well, and becomes much less welcoming.”
That may become a problem for Ukrainians in the future. But it is already a problem for refugees fleeing other countries whose persecution feels less politically relevant. They are met with a far less welcoming response in Poland and other European countries than Ukrainians are — even though many may actually have stronger claims to protection under international refugee law.
The question for the long term, then, is which response will become the standard: the welcome and support that has greeted Ukrainians, or the hostility toward refugees from elsewhere.
“The very welcoming response to Ukrainians is wonderful to observe,” Dr. Abdelaaty said. “My hope is that this sort of response will be carried over to other refugee groups who are fleeing very similar situations and who are equally worthy of our compassion and our assistance.”
“Hopefully, this moment will really lead people to critically reflect on why it is that they think some people are worthy of protection, and others are not.”