Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced an exodus of millions of Ukrainians, and hundreds have begun arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking asylum.
(AP).- The majority are flying to Mexico and making their way to Tijuana’s busy San Ysidro port of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has admitted a limited number of Ukrainians and other migrants seeking asylum or protection.
The Biden administration announced late last month plans to welcome 100,000 refugees impacted by the Russian war on Ukraine.
On April 5, CBP allowed fewer than 20 Ukrainians to cross into the U.S. Teenagers traveling alone and families waited under tarps near the pedestrian entry amid piles of concertina wire at the largest crossing on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Title 42 — a public health order allowing U.S. border authorities to turn asylum seekers back to Mexico — remains in force, and most migrants from Mexico, Central America, Haiti and other regions have been quickly returned. The Biden administration announced last week that it would lift the Title 42 order in late May and implement new, expedited processes for asylum seekers.
At the Tijuana-San Diego border, Ukrainians were among a limited number of migrants allowed to seek asylum or protection in the U.S. in recent days.
A family, including an elder woman, her adult daughter and grandchild from Colombia attempted to seek asylum on April 5 at the San Ysidro port of entry and were turned away and told to seek refuge in Mexico. A couple carrying Russian passports also attempted to enter the U.S. at the port and were turned away, as they watched Ukrainians pass through the port gates.
Ukrainians have been arriving at the Southwest border in increasing numbers over the past two years, with arrivals intensifying since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
The United Nations estimates 4.2 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the war began.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported encountering 1,301 Ukrainians at the Southwest border from October through February — more than double the 676 Ukrainians encountered in all of fiscal 2021.