US Borders Reportedly See Dramatic Increase in Ukrainian Refugees
© AP Photo / Gregory BullUkrainian refugees wait near the U.S. border Monday, April 4, 2022, in Tijuana, Mexico. About 200 to 300 Ukrainians were being admitted daily at the San Ysidro crossing this week, with hundreds more arriving in Tijuana, according to volunteers who manage the waiting list. There were 973 families or single adults waiting on Tuesday.
© AP Photo / Gregory Bull
According to the recent figures released by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency registered more than 200,000 encounters on the southwest border - which is a 33 percent increase compared to February.
Over 5,000 Ukrainian refugees were detained by the US Customs and Border Protection in March while trying to enter the country, contributing to the ongoing migrant influx on the southwestern border, The Washington Post reported, citing CBP.
According to the outlet, "many, if not most" of the Ukrainian refugees were granted a humanitarian parole and released into the United States.
In February, there were 1,150 Ukrainians seeking entry to the United States, with only 272 of them attempting to enter via the US-Mexico border. Last month, this number of those attempting to enter through the southern border jumped to over 3,200, according to WaPo.
The White House announced that Ukrainians will receive eligibility for “temporary protected status" that will allow them to stay in the country for 18 months and apply for work permits (if they arrived by 11 April).
The TPS designation of Ukraine will remain effective until 19 October 2023.
"This ongoing armed conflict poses a serious threat to the safety of nationals returning to Ukraine. Extraordinary and temporary conditions, including destroyed infrastructure, scarce resources, and lack of access to healthcare, prevent Ukrainian nationals from returning to their homeland in safety," the notice by the Federal Register said.
With the US border agents expecting a "historic border surge", four out of ten Americans, according to the Tuesday Gallup opinion poll, are "highly concerned" about the immigration crisis faced by the country.
Additionally, migrant rights activists slammed the authorities for offering the Ukrainian refugees preferable treatment to those offered migrants from Haiti and Latin American countries. In a Monday op-ed for The Washington Post, vice president of US advocacy and litigation for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Anthony Enriquez pointed out that thousands of black migrants should not receive different treatment merely because of their race.
"If Democrats really want to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, reunite families and shore up their base, they must think with their hearts, not just their pocketbooks," he wrote.