Washington, D.C.— Today, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr introduced the Russians Engaged in Threatening Ukraine Refuge Now (RETURN) Act.  This legislation waives costs for American citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States who are evacuated from Ukraine by the U.S. government in the event of a Russian invasion.  Current law requires these individuals to reimburse the U.S. Department of State for an evacuation.  Additionally, the RETURN Act waives the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to reenter the United States from abroad. 

“Cost should not be a barrier for Americans fleeing Ukraine if a Russian invasion occurs. Congress must act now to ensure President Biden doesn’t leave Americans behind enemy lines for the second time in less than two years,” said Congressman Barr, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Furthermore, my proposal waives the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to be presented for reentry into the United States,” Barr added.  “If undocumented immigrants can be released into American communities without COVID-19 testing, U.S. citizens should be able to return to their country from a war zone without one too.”

During the Afghanistan surrender in August of 2021, reports indicated that Americans fleeing the Taliban were facing reimbursement costs of approximately $2,000.  Henry Rodgers of The Daily Caller broke the news of this bill introduction.