An estimated 1,700 Ukrainians have arrived in Tijuana in recent weeks and are waiting to cross the Mexico border into the United States. Roughly 400 Ukrainians, about 30% of which are women and children, arrived in Tijuana just last weekend, indicating an uptick in migrants coming from Ukraine as the Russian invasion carries on in their homeland.
Enrique Lucero, Tijuana’s migration affairs director, said “they will continue to arrive” and be transferred to a sports center that was converted into a government shelter just north of the city, as well as “improvised camps near the international port of entry, which connects Tijuana and California” reports The Foreign Desk.
On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus released a statement saying the agency is ramping up personnel and resources at the southwest border as the Biden administration lifts a “pandemic-era policy that effectively shut down asylum at the border.”
Just weeks ago, President Joe Biden said the United States would accept up to 100,000 Ukrainians to resettle in the U.S. this year. It is unclear as to whether Ukrainians coming in through the southern border with Mexico will be considered among that number.
On Friday, Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said his department has sent 600 law enforcement officers to the border and would add more if needed.
Since removing the pandemic-era policy, Lucero said he was hopeful that the U.S. officials would speed up processing of Ukrainian migrants. “This week is key, but the number of those who need a place to stay will decrease” as U.S. agents increase processing capacity, he said.
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BREAKING: DHS Secretary Mayorkas Supports Amnesty
During a heated testimony, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressed his support for amnesty and a path to citizenship for those who have entered the United States illegally.
Mayorkas tried to dodge at first, saying “only Congress can provide legal status or amnesty through the laws to those who enter the country illegally.” When prompted by Republican Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona who said “we’re not talking about who passes laws or not, but your philosophy as the DHS Secretary, would you support amnesty?”
Mayorkas responded, “Congressman, I fully support and have for many years, legislative reform that once and for all fixes our broken immigration system…”
“So I take it that you won’t make that statement now…” said Biggs.
“No I will, if you’ll allow me” Mayorkas said, “and it involves a path to citizenship for those who have been in this country for many years, who have contributed to the wellbeing of our country.”
“The answer is you would support amnesty of some kind” Biggs said of his response.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) April 28, 2022
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