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Florida lawmakers push for easier path for Ukraine children to come to U.S. amid Russia invasion

CLERMONT, Fla. — In Clermont, Breanna and Aaron Andrews continue to hold out hope that something can be done to bring 9-year-old Daniil home.

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“Every day he was here, he asked us if we would please be his family,” Breanna Andrews said.

When the war first started, the Andrews shared with Channel 9 the visit Daniil had with them and their three children over the holidays.

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That strong bond led them to adopt Daniil and his two younger brothers.

Daniil is safe in Poland, and the Andrews have been able to message him and receive photos, but conditions are less than ideal and children are living in a hotel with a lice outbreak.

The younger boys are still in Ukraine where they had bombings earlier this week.

READ: ‘Can this be real?’ Orlando woman worries as family waits out Russian invasion in Ukraine

Last month, lawmakers including Florida senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio sent a letter urging the secretary of state to convince Ukraine to make it easier for children to come here.

An online petition has gathered more than 14,000 signatures urging lawmakers and President Joe Biden to get involved and ask Ukraine to allow children to come here temporarily until adoptions can resume, and have the U.S. immediately issue non-immigrants visas to make it easier.

Adoptive families were told the need anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 to really get some attention.

READ: ‘I wanted to go right over’: How 2 Leesburg doctors helped their nieces, nephew escape Ukraine

More information about the Andrews family and their adoption journey can be found here.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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