Now we're blocking Russian migrants at the border

Now we're blocking Russian migrants at the border
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Just yesterday, Karen asked if the Biden administration was finally getting something right when it comes to immigration, at least as it pertains to Ukrainian refugees. There were indications that Ukrainians were being given temporary protected status, but they were being held up and checked at the southern border before being allowed in. Karen posed the following question:

My question at the time was whether or not we can trust DHS to properly vet and process a wave of Ukrainian refugees when it has so miserably failed to do so for the flood of migrants from around the world. And, let’s not forget how poorly the process has gone for Afghan refugees brought to the United States.

But, if the administration is finally doing it right and making sure the migration process is being upheld, I will give credit where credit is due.

She went on to express her doubts about the Biden administration being capable of carrying through on those good intents while remaining open to congratulating them if they did. Well, as the old saying goes… that didn’t take long. By last night there was already a stream of Ukrainian migrants being ushered across the border needing to show nothing more than a passport. And it didn’t appear that much in the way of vetting was going on. Meanwhile, a smaller group of Russian migrants claiming to be fleeing the madness of Vladimir Putin were left camped out on the Mexican side of the border. This is creating considerable conflict and confusion among the migrants, particularly when so many illegal aliens from the Northern Triangle countries manage to swarm across every day, most of them having no documentation at all, and they are allowed to stay in the country. (Yahoo News)

About three dozen would-be asylum seekers from Russia found themselves blocked from entering the U.S. on Friday while a group of Ukrainians flashed passports and were escorted across the border.

The scene reflected a quiet but unmistakable shift in the differing treatment of Russians and Ukrainians who enter Mexico as tourists and fly to Tijuana, hoping to enter the U.S. for a chance at asylum.

The Russians — 34 as of Friday — had been camped several days at the busiest U.S border crossing with Mexico, two days after city of Tijuana officials gently urged them to leave.

None of this resembles the normal procedures and protocols for immigration control, or at least the way it was handled before Joe Biden got into office anyway. Simply showing up at the border with a passport is not sufficient. Any Ukrainians – or Russians for that matter – can apply for a visa of some sort and once it’s granted they can arrive at nearly any port of entry and come into the United States. Those with temporary protected status like the Ukrainians now have will generally be on a fast track to being allowed to remain here while their asylum claims are processed.

But the whole point is that they will all have gone through some levels of initial vetting. Those flying in will have gone through TSA and other security checkpoints at least twice before arriving. When you just show up unannounced at the border, you would normally be stuck waiting while immigration officials checked out your identity.

But now we’re not only welcoming shortcuts to the system, but we’re not even doing it in an even-handed manner. It’s totally plausible that there are Russians fleeing the madness in their own country who might want to seek asylum here. But there might also be others with far darker intents seeking to take advantage of this period of chaos. And at the risk of being canceled by the current national pro-Ukrainian hero-worship party that’s going on, we could say the same thing for the Ukrainians. Many refugees have good reason to flee and seek safety elsewhere. But that country also contains a lot of current and former Russians who may not be looking to embrace the wonders of capitalism and democracy.

So now we have a parade of presumably Ukrainian migrants flowing freely across the border and a second group of resentful Russians wondering why they aren’t getting similar treatment. This all sounds like a recipe for potentially serious problems down the road. The immigration system is far from perfect, but if we went back to controlling the borders as much as is physically possible and processing every migrant from any nation under the same rules, we could at least maintain the moral high ground and demonstrate that the system is as fair as we can make it and the rules are being enforced without playing favorites.

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Ed Morrissey 4:41 PM on September 29, 2023