Russian, Chinese migrants showing up at US-Mexico border after South Americans banned
By MaryAnn Martinez,
Hundreds of migrants fleeing Russia, China, Georgia and Peru are now showing up at the US-Mexico border and seeking asylum — replacing migrants from Central and South America who have been blocked from entering the country.
“There are a lot of people from Russia, a lot of Georgians, and Chinese,” Fernando Quiroz, Director of AZ-CA Humanitarian Coalition told The Post of what he’s seen in recent weeks.
More than 80,000 migrants have crossed into the US through Yuma in the first four months of the current fiscal year, which began in October — making it the third busiest immigration hot spot in the country after El Paso and Del Rio in Texas.
Mexican immigration statistics showed the numbers of Russians heading to the country more than doubled as war with Ukraine broke out last year. The Wall Street Journal cited official statistics showing 30,000 Russians entering Mexico in February of that year, up from a steady stream of around 12,000 a month over previous years.
A Georgian citizen and a Russian citizen lined up at the border wall in Arizona told The Post they left their homelands due to the war and economic sanctions.
“We went through Mexico because we don’t have visas for the US,” they said through a translator. “We got visas to Mexico. We flew into Mexico City and made our way to the border.”
A report published last year found this was a popular route for those with the money to achieve it and 21,626 Russians were allowed into the country to seek asylum in the 2022 fiscal year .
While the feds couldn’t tell The Post exactly how many Russians, Chinese or Peruvians were stopped at the international boundary, as federal statistics do keep statistics for all countries, their figures show a 124% increase in migrants from countries not in Central or South America entering through Yuma compared to last year.
On Jan. 6, the Biden Administration announced Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans would join Venezuelans in being expelled from the U.S. under the pandemic-era Title 42 measure if they crossed the border illegally.
A month ago, Yuma was flooded with Cubans, the aid worker said, but since they were added to Title 42 the numbers have plummeted.
“We’re looking at 20-30% of what it was 20 days ago,” he estimated.
People from 145 nations have been stopped at the border in the first four months of fiscal year 2023, according to Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council. And he claims the cartels have a hand in delivering people to the border in the first place.
“The cartels just replace the [Title 42 expelled migrants] with other populations,” he said.
Judd predicts agents across the entire border will see more migrants from non-traditional countries eventually.
“That’s going to take a little bit of time — Indian people take more time to get to the United States, Russians take more time to get to the United States,” Judd reasoned. “That takes a while to build up.
In Arizona, these new migrants are mostly surrendering themselves and claiming asylum, Judd said. Border Patrol turns them over to its sister agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE.]
“If ICE doesn’t have the space to hold them, they’ll be released,” he explained. “Going back to the Russians, you’re not crossing the border and surrendering yourself if you think you’re going to be held in detention.”
About 96% of all migrants stopped by Border Patrol in Yuma this year were processed under Title 8, meaning they were likely released into the country while their individual cases play out in court, according to agency statistics.
Comments / 0