SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Ukrainians seeking refuge at the US-Mexico border can be excluded from a Trump-era policy that forces agents to immediately turn immigrants back, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo obtained by ABC 10News.
The US-Mexico border has been closed since March 2020 to most asylum seekers under a pandemic-era policy known as Title 42.
"The Department of Homeland Security recognizes that the unjustified Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has created a humanitarian crisis," DHS said in the memo.
As with other immigrants and asylum-seekers, border authorities have been told they can make exceptions for Ukrainians on a case-by-case basis.
Since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there have been reports of Ukrainians arriving at the US-Mexico border, including the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
The guidance for Ukrainians is different from the application of Title 42 for migrants and asylum-seekers from other countries. People from Mexico, Russia, Central America, or other Western Hemisphere nations like Haiti and Brazil, are being turned away.
Since the policy was first enacted in March 2020, government statistics show border officials have used Title 42 to expel migrants over 1.7 million times.