Governor Eric Holcomb, on Refugees from Ukraine
By: Sheila McCrea - Wednesday, May 11, 2022

More than seven-thousand Afghan refugees were evacuated to Indiana last fall, but it’s not likely Hoosier will see the same when it comes to refugees from Ukraine.

Governor Holcomb says Indiana has been in contact with Ukraine’s leaders, including a meeting last month with the country’s ambassador to the U-S, to let them know the “welcome mat is out” for Ukrainians to take temporary or permanent refuge.

Purdue University has welcomed 11 Ukrainian professors and doctoral students to spend a year in West Lafayette under a visiting-scholar program created after the Russian invasion. The university is reviewing applications for an expected nine more available slots.

But Holcomb says those relocations may be the exception, not the rule. He says there are two sides to Ukraine’s evacuation coin. Unlike Afghanistan, where evacuees fled a victorious Taliban, Ukraine’s goal is to rebuild the country after Russian troops are driven out. Holcomb says leaders there are understandably concerned about a “brain drain” if people leave their homeland behind.

Holcomb says Indiana will continue to show its support to the Ukraine in whatever ways it can.


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