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Bucshon, Bipartisan Members Introduce RIDE for Ukraine Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.-08), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.-05), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.-01), and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio-09) recently introduced the REAL ID Eligibility (RIDE) for Ukraine Act to grant REAL ID-eligibility to Ukrainian refugees. 


Currently, Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion are ineligible for REAL ID-compliant documents, including driver’s licenses and state IDs, in 31 states including Indiana. This issue has presented several challenges for those that have been granted asylum by the United States, which includes but is not limited to, securing and maintaining employment in sectors that require a REAL-ID compliant license. This legislation is modeled after a similar fix from 2021, when refugees from Afghanistan that faced similar impediments in obtaining REAL-ID eligible documents were given relief by Congress. While some individual states are working on a state-level fix for Ukrainian humanitarian parolees, a federal legislative solution is required to comprehensively address the issue. 


“Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began over one year ago, more than 271,000 Ukrainians have been granted asylum in the United States. With many of these individuals now calling Indiana home, it is critical that we pass the RIDE for Ukraine Act to ensure these individuals do not face arbitrary governmental barriers to obtaining jobs so that they can contribute to the Hoosier State,” said Dr. Bucshon.


Over a year ago, many Ukrainians were faced with a choice—flee invasion or live under the constant threat of death. For those who have made the harrowing journey to the United States, life has not been easy. They left behind their families, their homes, and their livelihoods-- all while watching Vladimir Putin’s onslaught on their homeland,” said Rep. Quigley. “Not having a state-issued ID or driver’s license has only added to this struggle by creating a barrier for Ukrainians trying to find and maintain employment. The RIDE for Ukraine Act will help eliminate this barrier by providing them with REAL ID-eligibility and ensuring they have the tools necessary to begin working, contributing to their communities, and supporting their families. Just as we have been devoted to aiding those on the ground in Ukraine, we must also focus on helping Ukrainians within our own borders.”


“In the midst of Vladimir Putin’s unjustified, unprovoked invasion and occupation of Ukraine, millions of families and children have had to flee their home. Alongside our allies, the United States has and continues to welcome tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees with open arms,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “While some Ukrainians have or may return to Ukraine, those remaining in the United States require appropriate identification documents in order to contribute and thrive within their new communities. I am proud to introduce the bipartisan REAL ID Eligibility (RIDE) Act alongside my colleagues and to continue to advocate for the fair, equal treatment of humanitarian refugees from Ukraine. “


“Since the outbreak of the war, Ukrainians have had to leave their homes and the life they knew for a chance at safety and to live life unburdened by the callous and cruel war thrust upon them by Vladimir Putin. For those who have come to America looking for safety and a chance to live in freedom and safety, that comes at high personal cost and strife,” said Rep. Kaptur. “As guests in our country, Americans are affording them true hospitality and the ability to live life without barriers to access. The RIDE for Ukraine Act will give REAL ID-eligibility to Ukrainian refugees who meet necessary requirements. As we continue to support Ukrainians in their fight for Liberty and against tyranny in their land, so should we support those who will make their home in our country while that same war continues to rage. I urge my colleagues to support this vital legislation to allow Ukrainian refugees access to ID services vital to everyday life in America.”


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that if enacted, this legislation will not impact the federal budget over the next 10 years.