ORANGEVALE (CBS13) – Russia's merciless invasion is fueling a massive refugee crisis.
More than 3.6 million Ukrainians escaped, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
While many flee to other European nations, a small portion is near the U.S.-Mexico border. The federal government reports 272 Ukrainians entered U.S. custody in February.
On Thursday, the U.S. announced it will accept up to 100,000 refugees.
Spring Life Church of Orangevale is meeting some families at an airport in the border city of Tijuana.
Church member Erik Latkovskiy tells CBS13 his team left around 2 a.m. Thursday.
"We received information from a different church in Sacramento that they see a lot of refugees in Ukraine is coming to Tijuana, Mexico," Latkovskiy said.
The Ukrainian church's newest mission is to help these refugees resettling while working with faith leaders from San Diego to Sacramento. Through its network, SOL Church tells claims it's hearing 30-40 Ukrainians are flying to Mexico recently to cross the border.
It's currently looking for people to host these families saying it believes those numbers will soar
While they're there, senior pastor Vadym Dashkevych is mapping out what's next.
"What are we going to do? it's very easy. we're going to help them three ways," he said.
Dashkevych outlines a plan that includes housing, social services and school registration. He's also hoping to get the families mobile by providing transportation once in the Sacramento area.
Since the invasion, the church collected humanitarian aid while deploying teams to help during what's been described as the biggest refugee crisis since World War ll.
The church is not only providing physical needs but spiritual and mental guidance.
We want to help them to walk through this period, Dashkevych said.
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