When you think of illegal aliens coming across our southern border, you likely picture them being of Mexican origin, or perhaps from one of the northern triangle nations. Alternately, they might be from Haiti, as has become increasingly common in recent years. But one nation of origin that we don’t hear of very often is Russia. And yet that’s what happened this weekend. CBP is reporting that 18 illegal Russian migrants packed into two vehicles attempted to speed through the border crossing at San Ysidro on Sunday, resulting in an immigration officer opening fire on the vehicles. All of the illegal migrants, including some young children, were taken into custody. So was this just another case of refugees from other lands trying to make a new life in America or something more? (FOX 5 San Diego)
Two vehicles that attempted to speed past a California border crossing before an officer opened fire were carrying a total of 18 Russian immigrants including young children.
The “use of force incident” shut down several lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry for about eight hours from Sunday night into Monday morning.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that shortly after 9:30 p.m., a border officer spotted a Ford SUV and a Mercedes sedan speeding toward the primary inspection area.
This is a rather crazy story that’s going to be generating many questions. In addition to the two vehicles already mentioned, CBP later stopped another vehicle at the border with seven undocumented Russians inside, five adults and two children. They haven’t confirmed whether that group was detained or simply turned back into Mexico.
So what’s going on here? I’m sure it’s quite possible that migrants from nearly every nation on the planet who wish to flee their homeland eventually make it to our border, and Russia probably isn’t an exception. If I were living in Russia and not part of the party establishment, I would probably be in fear of the current situation and consider fleeing. That could be particularly true if these people were supporters of Alexei Navalny and felt they were in danger of being “disappeared” by Vladimir Putin to some camp in Siberia.
But how likely is that? It’s a very long way from Russia to here and there are likely many easier places to flee to in Europe or even eastern Asia. Also, there are other possible clues in the details that CBP released that caught my attention. The first two vehicles used in the attempted speed crossing weren’t cheap trucks like the coyotes typically pack migrants and trafficked children into. They had a Ford SUV and a Mercedes sedan. The coyotes must be doing very well financially indeed, eh?
Further, the method they attempted was not the usual strategy employed by either the caravans of migrants or the coyotes. Stealth is usually their watchword and they tend to cross at remote regions with few people around. The crossing generally involves stretches where the migrants travel on foot and even wade through water. These vehicles attempted to barrel through the main San Ysidro crossing right in front of the immigration officials like something out of an action movie. Surely they should have known they would have been pursued or even fired upon (as happened in this case).
If these were beleaguered Navalny supporters fleeing Putin’s wrath, they probably would have been approved for sanctuary almost immediately. (And our intelligence people likely would have invited them for a chat to see if they knew anything useful.) So what else is left? Tensions have been running very high between Russia and the United States this year and we know that the Russians always have people infiltrating our country to gather intelligence and occasionally engage in covert activities. Could these “migrants” have been getting ready for a mission? But if it was being done on behalf of the Kremlin, why not just send them through the normal diplomatic channels?
As I said, there are many questions. But at least thus far, none of the answers that have come to mind for me make a lot of sense. It’s certainly a strange situation, though. I’m sure our IC folks will be having a chat with them soon.