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Jacksonville couple working to get family from Ukraine celebrate President Biden's refugee announcement

Seven members of Ashley Testa's family made the five day journey to Poland.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It's a journey that normally would take 10 hours, but for seven members of Ashley Testa's family, it took five days to reach Poland's border from their hometown in Ukraine.

They've managed to resettle in Poland, for now.

"We still have more family in Ukraine than have escaped," she explained to First Coast News.

Testa and her husband are hoping to bring them to Jacksonville, celebrating the news made by President Biden who announced the US would accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.  The full details and the timeline haven't been announced.

Credit: Courtesy: Ashley Testa
Seven members of Ashley Testa's family, including her mother-in-law, resettled in Poland. She is trying to get them to the US.

Testa says some families are struggling to make new lives elsewhere and their families in the United States could provide stability immediately.

"They are running out of housing options. They may not have homes already, but they may have family in the United States that can help house them right away," Testa said.

She started an online petition a month ago urging President Biden to accept Ukrainian refugees.  With more than 100,000 signatures, she says the movement is gaining attention.

"I know that there are ways that President Biden can sign an executive order and get people here basically next week.  I would ask him to use that power to do so in this case because we have a dire need," she said.

Testa knows there are some families that cannot escape, but for those who can, and have, she wants them taken care of.

She's looking forward to being reunited with her family.  "It's something that we never thought there would be a need for actually. It's something that we couldn't have wished more for when this war happened," Testa said.

Credit: Courtesy: Ashley Testa
Four of Testa's nieces and nephews have made it safely to Poland.


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