NEW YORK – On March 28, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) issued the below statement following the safe evacuation of a Staten Island resident and his wife from Ukraine, whom the Congresswoman’s staff has been assisting and communicating regularly with since the invasion:
“I’m happy to announce that my office was able to safely evacuate a Staten Island man and his wife from Ukraine following Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion. The man’s wife, a Ukrainian citizen, had applied for a spousal visa with the U.S. State Department over one year ago, however, the State Department never processed her request due to a backlog and the subsequent closing of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. After my office intervened, the State Department transferred the wife’s visa request to the U.S. Embassy in Moldova, to which the couple was able to safely evacuate via a five-hour bus trip. In Moldova, the wife received her visa, and I’m pleased to report the couple arrived safely back in the United States late Friday night after weeks of travel and uncertainty.”
Malliotakis’ office is also assisting a constituent with evacuating his wife from Ukraine through the U.S. Embassy in Poland, along with the parents of another constituent who have successfully fled Ukraine and are being processed at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Malliotakis has been critical of the State Department’s backlog and unresponsiveness in other parts of the world, which has resulted in the need for Members of Congress to personally get involved on behalf of constituents. In a recent House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Malliotakis slammed the Department and urged officials to get embassy employees back to work. To date, the State Department is operating at a reduced staff capacity because of COVID-19 restrictions.