Letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission - Reps. Lee, Beatty, Meeks, Bass and Plaskett Urge Humane and Non-Discriminatory Treatment for People of Color Fleeing Ukraine


Dear Madame President;

We write with concern regarding the treatment of people of African and Asian descent
who are trying to flee Ukraine. Thank you for clarifying that the borders of the European Union
are open to everyone fleeing the war in Ukraine. Nonetheless, numerous press and social media
reports indicate that many Black families, immigrants from the African diaspora and other
people of color are subject to discriminatory or inhumane treatment as they seek to flee Ukraine
for the safety of other European countries.

Racism, discrimination, and cruelty are always unacceptable, but even more so during a
war and humanitarian crisis. Anyone in Ukraine seeking refuge from this blatant attack on
Ukrainian sovereignty must be treated with dignity and respect. Governments have an obligation
to take every step necessary to protect the human rights of all people fleeing conflict, regardless
of race or ethnicity.

We applaud that you have publicly rejected discriminatory treatment of refugees. We ask
for more information about how European Union institutions and its member states are working
to implement equitable and humane policies and procedures towards refugees. We further ask
that a representative of the Commission brief us on the progress of these efforts.
Thank you again for working to ensure all people fleeing conflict are treated equitably
and humanely. We look forward to your response.