More and more Ukrainians arrive in Mexico seeking political asylum in the US

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.

Two Ukrainian women sit and wait for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow them to enter the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Baja California on April 5, 2022.
Two Ukrainian women sit and wait for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow them to enter the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Baja California on April 5, 2022.

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.

More: Migrants march from south Mexico as US lifts COVID ban

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.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers take photos of Ukrainian refugees as they await to be allowed to enter the U.S. by Customs and Border Protection at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Baja  California on April 5, 2022.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers take photos of Ukrainian refugees as they await to be allowed to enter the U.S. by Customs and Border Protection at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Baja California on April 5, 2022.

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.

A volunteer asks two Colombian women and a child looking to seek asylum in the U.S. to exit an area used for Ukrainian refugees at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Baja California on April 5, 2022.
A volunteer asks two Colombian women and a child looking to seek asylum in the U.S. to exit an area used for Ukrainian refugees at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Baja California on April 5, 2022.

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.

The Yucatan Times
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