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Mexico Now Dealing With Crush of Asylum Seekers From Russia Who Want to Come to U.S.

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine is about to become a larger issue for the United States, according to a Friday report.

The Washington Examiner noted that Mexican authorities are now dealing with a wave of Russian asylum seekers in Tijuana who are attempting to get into the U.S. via the region. A growing number of Russian citizens are setting up tent encampments in the northern border city.

The outlet reports:

Russian migrants who have fled their homeland amid the war that Vladimir Putin is waging against Ukraine have been living south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry over the past couple weeks. San Ysidro is the busiest port of entry in the Western Hemisphere and connects Tijuana, Baja California, to San Diego, California.

Migrants from Ukraine and Russia have increasingly flown into Tijuana, then approached the port of entry to claim asylum because they cannot fly directly into the U.S.

Unlike Ukrainians, whom the Biden administration has allowed U.S. border officials to admit into the country as asylum-seekers, Russian asylum-seekers are being denied entry and forced to wait indefinitely in Tijuana.

One Russian man called “Mike” told Border Report that he fled his homeland with his wife seeking “freedom” in the U.S.

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“It’s Putin’s conflict, not me. Russian people are good people,” he told the outlet. “United States is freedom, freedom.”

As of Thursday, Mexican officials had not forced the Russian migrants out of their makeshift tent community. But last week, the Tijuana city government ordered those squatting near the port to clear the area and move into shelters where they could remain at no cost, Border Report added.

Letters that were provided to the Russian migrants in Russian and Spanish said they can’t reside in a “federal and international zone between Mexico and the United States.

The letters also said that the Russian migrants should not try to seek asylum by entering the U.S. between ports of entry because that would negatively impact their claims.

“We recommend you don’t try and force your way into the United States and risk your physical being while being penalized later during the asylum process,” Tijuana Migrant Affairs Office Director Enrique Lucero wrote.

“Officer says Ukraine yes, Russians no,” Mike told Border Report.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported that a group of attorneys is helping Ukrainians already in the U.S. remain while also helping to get their families in the country as well.

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One of them, University of Dayton School of Law assistant professor Ericka Curran, told the network that she and others felt a need to get involved immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“As soon as we started to hear of the situation in Ukraine, we knew that most likely temporary protected status would be granted,” Curran said. “We wanted to see how we could help individuals and get involved to provide support.”

Fox News adds:

The Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that Ukrainian migrants living in the U.S. as of March 1 would be eligible for temporary protected status, which allows qualified individuals to receive work authorization and protects them from deportation.

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Temporary protected status allows immigrants from foreign countries afflicted by armed conflicts, environmental disasters or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions” to stay in the country for 18 months.

Nearly 4,000 Ukrainians were facing deportation proceedings at the time of the announcement, CBS News reported. DHS estimated the move could help 75,100 Ukrainian immigrants in the U.S.

The group of U.S. attorneys is also attempting to help Ukrainian immigrants get their families into the U.S. as well, said Curran.

The group of attorneys is also assisting Ukrainian immigrants bring their family members to the U.S., Curran said.

“Some people are still trying to bring family temporarily on tourist visas,” she told Fox News. “There are situations of people trying to get family who can’t get into the United States with a tourist visa into other countries or into Mexico.”

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