The U.S. Shouldn’t Rely on Grassroots Activists to Help Ukrainian Refugees

Ukrainian refugees wait near the U.S. border, April 4, 2022, in Tijuana, Mexico (AP photo by Gregory Bull).
Ukrainian refugees wait near the U.S. border, April 4, 2022, in Tijuana, Mexico (AP photo by Gregory Bull).

The images from Poland earlier this year were inspiring: As refugees began to cross Ukraine’s western border, Polish citizens poured out of their homes to receive them. They set up soup kitchens at the border and established caravans to shuttle refugees to train stations. They opened their homes and beds to families passing through, and as the days went on, a stream of international grassroots volunteers showed up to support the relief effort. As the weeks passed, however, many Poles began asking, Where is the national government in all this? Some were angry that the Polish government took credit for their grassroots […]

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