As Russia launches a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, an act of war not seen on the European Continent in a generation, House Republican Deputy Leader Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) has introduced legislation to send a strong-message to the people of Ukraine that the State of Illinois supports them.
“In this dark and dangerous moment, it is crucial that we stand strongly and unequivocally with the people of Ukraine and offer every tool at our disposal to provide aid to refugees who flee from the invasion of their sovereign nation,” Demmer said. “As a nation founded by refugees, there is no American value more enduring or essential than welcoming refugees from war-torn places all across the world and helping them and their families resettle safely.”
Demmer’s legislation would include an additional $20 million in the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget for FY22 and FY23 to aid in the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees. Illinois’ refugee resettlement program, run by DHS, has resettled more than 123,644 refugees from more than 60 countries since 1975.
The Refugee Program provides community-based services, including counseling, orientation, and English classes in addition to vocational training, job readiness, and job placement assistance. Additionally, multi-lingual mental health services are available for refugees who have experienced severe trauma.
“I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together quickly on a bipartisan basis to pass my legislation into law so that the State of Illinois is prepared to provide the necessary aid to Ukrainian refugees and their families during this tragic and anxious period in their lives,” Demmer added.