US border patrol encounters over 5,000 Ukrainians in March
Over 5,000 Ukrainians were detained at U.S. land, sea and air borders last month, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday.
The data showed that 5,071 Ukrainian people were detained at U.S. borders in March, up from just over 1,100 Ukrainian detainees in February, with some among the 220,000 detentions at the southwest border.
The Washington Post reported that many of those Ukrainians were released into the U.S. through humanitarian parole. On Monday, the Biden administration extended temporary protected status for Ukrainians for another 18 months, according to a Department of Homeland Security notice.
On Feb. 24, Russia began its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, prompting nearly 5 million people to flee the besieged country, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The vast majority of those people, or nearly 2.8 million, have sought refuge in Poland. Others have fled to other neighboring countries such as Romania, UNHCR reported. The invasion has created the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures showed detentions were up overall regardless of citizenship. In March, the figures showed nearly 250,000 total detentions compared to around 190,000 in February.
Last month, the Biden administration said it would accept up to 100,000 refugees fleeing the violence in Ukraine. At that time, the White House said that the Ukrainian refugees would be admitted into the country via family-based visas and humanitarian parole as well as through the U.S. refugee program.
“No matter how many Russian soldiers are driven there, we will fight. We will defend ourselves,” the president said, adding that he was grateful to all Ukrainian fighters, especially those in areas like the Donbas region and Mariupol.