At the US-Mexico border: Ukrainians allowed in, Russians not
US officials have let Ukrainians enter the US while Russians are still stranded at the border.
In what can only be described as an attempt to punish innocent Russians, the US is depriving Russian asylum-seekers of entering the US while letting Ukrainians in with no problem.
Hundreds of Ukrainians have been allowed to enter the US this week, but Russians are still stuck, causing some to sleep on the sidewalk outside a barbed-wire border fence, defying Mexican authorities' orders to depart.
Irina Zolkina, a math teacher who fled Moscow with her four children and her daughter's fiance, fell into tears on Thursday when a US border agent looked at her stack of Russian passports and shook his head, indicating they would have to wait — soon after officials welcomed in six Ukrainian men.
According to the UN, more than 3 million Ukrainians have become refugees, most of them in countries bordering Ukraine. According to reports from the media, thousands of Russians have also left Russia.
US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Thursday the US is attempting to help Ukrainians who are fleeing and revealed that other programs are being considered to expand humanitarian aid.
Due to the covid pandemic, the border between the US and Mexico has been closed.
A spokesperson from the department of homeland security said exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for "particularly vulnerable individuals."
Numerous Russians have been sleeping feet from the border wall for several days, covered in heavy blankets, hoping that US officials will listen to their requests to be let in.
Mark, a restaurant manager from Moscow, said, "It's unfair that we can't get in."
According to US government statistics, border officers encountered around 6,400 Russians between October 2021 and January 2022. In a statement at the time, the Russian Embassy stated that it had alerted US authorities about those nationals.
Last week, Mexican officials in Tijuana sent leaflets in Russian naming local migrant shelters, as well as a letter stating that Russians can seek asylum but should not crowd at the border. The letter, signed by Tijuana migration director Enrique Lucero, described the "risk of the US deciding to close the crossing for internal security reasons."
While the Russians remain uncertain of their fate, border authorities in the US have turned away asylum applicants from Nigeria, Colombia, Honduras, and Mexico, prompting allegations of discriminatory treatment.
Kevin Salgado, a Mexican from Michoacan, said the US authorities are acting in elements of racism.
“Why are they letting the Ukrainians pass? ... Can someone explain to us?” he said.