Ukrainian refugees settle in Las Vegas, others denied U.S. entry

Ukraine refugees are entering the United States while others are getting denied.
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 10:49 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -A woman from Las Vegas traveled to Poland to try and bring ten Ukrainian refugees home, but only three were allowed to return to Nevada.

FOX5 reported on Alona Burns’ two-fold mission: to fly to Warsaw to deliver $7,000 in medical supplies to volunteers on the frontlines, and return with ten people to seek safety in Las Vegas. Burns and her mother decided to open up their home to ten people.

Burns said she was ecstatic to see her friends and loved ones safe in Poland, and took them all to the U.S. Embassy.

“We were all crying. It was nice to see them, they were safe. I couldn’t even hear stories; I know I will cry right away, what they were going through. So we left stories for later,” Burns said.

President Joe Biden is allowing 100,000 Ukrainians into the U.S.. Once the group arrived at the embassy, Burns said even her own niece and her children were denied the ability to come to the U.S.

“I honestly took it very hard. I was very frustrated. I was so sad. For a couple hours I could barely speak. Why would she be rejected? Now what, does she have to go back?” Burns said. “She was running for her life,” she said.

Family friend Victoria Gencheva and her two sons were allowed U.S. entry with Burns. They had fled the shelling and warfare outside Kiev, and her husband is serving in the Ukrainian army.

“It’s awful, because relatives can’t see each other because of some bureaucracy. We were lucky,” Gencheva said.

Burns is trying to get Gencheva’s sons into the Clark County Schools, however there are challenges due to residency and a tourist visa. There is no timeline for a return into Ukraine.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s office released the following statement:

“Senator Cortez Masto firmly stands with Ukrainians, and she will continue to prioritize casework to assist Nevadans and their relatives in the region. She has consistently called for the U.S. to stand up against Russian aggression, enact every economic measure possible to cripple the Russian economy, and support Ukrainians’ efforts to defend their homeland. She also supports the Biden administration’s decision to admit Ukrainian refugees to the country and to designate Temporary Protected Status for Ukrainians, which will ensure that nearly 28,000 Ukrainians currently in the United States can remain here safely.”

Senator Jacky Rosen’s office released the following statement:

“Senator Rosen has been closely monitoring the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, our office has been actively engaged with the Ukrainian community in Las Vegas, and she believes that America must work with our allies to ensure we can save as many lives as possible. Our office has been working directly with the State Department to help expedite the process of getting Ukrainians to safety and has assisted with connecting local charitable groups with the Ukrainian community in Las Vegas.”