A Ukrainian mother and her three children have been permitted to enter the United States after they were rejected at the Mexican border due to the nation’s widely controversial pandemic measures that deny asylum seekers arriving at the borders.
The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the 34-year old mother and her offspring were initially rejected at the US-Mexican border under Title 42, an ambivalent policy first ordered by President Donald Trump in March 2020 during the onslaught of the coronavirus.
“I’m not asking for anything from the United States, just to be let in,” the Ukrainian woman, who used the name Sofia, told the Union-Tribune after being turned away. “All we need is to be safe. All we want is to keep our lives safe.”
News outlets report that the woman and her children fled Eastern Europe on Feb. 27, days after Russia’s abrupt invasion of Ukraine. The family first went to Moldova and Romania, then arrived in Mexico this week. The family was seeking to join relatives in the US.
Rights groups and activists have pleaded with Biden to do more to ensure safe passage for Ukrainians attempting to enter, and those already in the country. Last week, the Biden administration announced it would extend what’s known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ukrainians in the country, saying the ongoing war has made it unsafe for them to return to Ukraine. This policy ensures that Ukrainian nationals can avoid being deported for 18 months.
Since the inception of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than 1 million Ukrainians have fled, many seeking refuge in other European nations, or going to different continents.
Influx Of Refugees
Erika Pinheiro, policy and litigation director at Al Otro Lado, a legal support group for refugees and migrants, commented on the Ukrainian woman and her children being rejected at the San Ysidro port of entry between the California and Mexico border.
“This woman does not have a phone and cannot safely stay in Tijuana. How can the US say it supports Ukraine while turning away its refugees from our borders?” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening.
HAPPENING NOW: @CBP is turning away a Ukrainian woman and her minor children at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. This woman does not have a phone and cannot safely stay in Tijuana. How can the US say it supports Ukraine while turning away its refugees from our borders?
— Erika Pinheiro (@eeerox) March 10, 2022
Erika had arrived at the border crossing when the situation transpired, and told-Al Jazeera in a phone interview the following day that increasing numbers of Ukrainian and Russians have boldly attempted to find asylum in America through Mexico throughout the past year.
“The political crisis there didn’t start with the bombs, it started before that. So there’s been an increase in refugee flows through Mexico”.
“There has been an increase in Russian, Ukrainian and other Eastern European asylum seekers,” Pinheiro said”.
Many have been turned away due to COVID-19 protocols imposed on foreigners attempting to seek asylum in the United States. COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted throughout the majority of the nation.
Erika noted that even states with the strictest of measures have begun to loosen them.
The battle has forced the US and its allies to impose hefty sanctions against Russian banks and industries. Early on Thursday, the Biden administration ordered new sanctions targeting rich elites in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner social circle, along with Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.