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Ukrainians Arrive Daily at Texas-Mexico Border Seeking Asylum

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Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Refugee organizations told The New York Post Ukrainians fleeing the invasion of their homeland by Russian forces have traveled to Mexico and are now “crossing the US-Mexico border and arriving in frontier towns across Texas seeking asylum.”

The Post followed the story of one group of six refugees, currently in El Paso. They made their way from Ukraine to the Netherlands before flying to Mexico. “The group included Tatiana Soloshchuk, her husband, their three sons, another mother and her young daughter. The Soloshchuks were bound for Kentucky, while the other mother and child were en route to Denver.”

“They spent four days in Mexico,” said Soloshchuk’s friend, who translated her responses to The Post’s questions over the phone and declined to give her name. “They came through Mexico because it’s the quickest opportunity to get to the United States.”

Ukraine and other countries of the European Union don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico. “Once Tatiana’s group arrived in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, they turned up at the Paso Del Norte International Port of Entry and got in line to make their asylum claim. They waited for 20 hours, sitting outside in the chill of the desert night until they were seen by a Customs and Border Protection officer who granted them humanitarian parole” reports The Post.

“They’re sad and heartbroken,” the friend said. “They were scared for their sons. The younger one has asthma. It got bad when they in the basement hiding from the bombing.”

“Many (Ukrainian) families would love to come to the US, but not everyone can make the trip,” Tatiana’s friend said. “It’s only because of their friends in Kentucky that they can afford to make this trip”

“Education, freedom, safety, that’s what’s important right now” said the friend, not knowing if her friends will be able to return home after the war.

Annunciation House director Ruben Garcia, who runs El Paso’s largest immigrant shelter, told The Post his staff are seeing anywhere from two to eight Ukrainians per day. “We’re seeing just a trickle and they don’t stay at the shelter for long,” Garcia said.

“Six hundred miles away, in Laredo, the local diocese’s chapter of Catholic Charities has received at least 10 Ukrainians at its shelter.” Executive Director Rebecca Solloa said those who come to her facility arrive from the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, about three hours south of the border by car.

“They’ll drive [in] by taxi all the way up to the bridge, and they’ll say, ‘We’re pleading asylum,’” she said. “[Customs agents] will take them down from the car and move them forward.”

The Post writes that The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests by them for information on the number of Ukrainian refugees. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that more than 10,000 Ukrainians had visited Mexico as tourists in the first two months of this year, and officials believe most of that number will eventually head to the US.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Lynn

    April 12, 2022 at 1:45 am

    Glad that many Ukrainians are able to find safety in the U.S.A. They have courage in the face of fear. I pray the war will end soon so the rebuilding of Ukraine city’s and infrastructure can begin. Ukraine was on my top wish list to see before this was. One day I hope to still go.

  2. Gwyllim

    April 12, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Asylum-seekers are only allowed to seek asylum in the FIRST free country they get to…that would be Mexico…sorry.

  3. perry willits

    April 16, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Well at least they go to a legal Port of entry! Unlike all the asylum seekers from all over the rest of the World! Sorry!!

  4. Diana sutton

    April 16, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    I’ll help any with children and take then in

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