American border guards fired at cars with illegal immigrants from Russia: why it happened and how it will affect the situation with the shelter at the border
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement on December 14, according to which a firearms incident occurred on the southern border of the United States. On agency report, this Sunday at the point of entry from Mexico, San Isidro, two cars tried to break through the border at high speed. The SVR officer, who was in the verification zone, fired several shots at the vehicles of the violators, as a result of which, fortunately, no one was injured.
With a fight across the border
As it turned out, there were a total of 18 illegal immigrants in the cars, including seven children, five of them under 5 years old. All of them turned out to be citizens of Russia. Car drivers have been arrested. In parallel with this incident, customs officers detained a third car, also crossing the border at the San Isidro checkpoint. There were 8 people in it, including a five-year-old child and a teenager. At the moment, the lawfulness of the use of weapons is being investigated by the National Council for the Supervision of the Use of Force of the SVR.
When the news was translated into Russian, they began to actively discuss it in the Russian-speaking segment of the Internet. California Journalist Ruslan Gurzhiy saidthat in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the influx of refugees from the post-Soviet space, crossing the southern border of the United States and fleeing to America "clearly not from a good life." At the same time, the fugitives did not evoke sympathy from the majority of viewers of his YouTube channel.
«Borders locked! And thank God!","Glory to the American Police and Border Guards! Heroes of their country","99,9999% of these “political” refugees are YouTube victims","Well, everything, now there will be a howl about the infringement of Russians already in America"- such comments have become, perhaps, the most frequent response to the news in the American Russian-speaking community. True, there were also opposite opinions among users. "Your parents have fled, and they are running. What do you care?"- one of the commentators reasoned the writing.
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The flow of refugees from Russia creates a local humanitarian crisis
«In fact, the situation is extremely unfortunate. Now a new wave of immigration from Russia has caused something like a small humanitarian crisis in Sacramento, which is being solved locally, mainly by the forces of churches and volunteers.", - explained in an interview with Forum Daily the coordinator of the group to help political emigrants in Sacramento Anna Berbeneva.
«People flee police brutality and repression with young children, often relying on strange messages they have found on the Internet about how to properly apply for asylum at the border. And, as always happens in such situations, there are scammers who offer consultations for money, which in the end go exclusively to the detriment of refugees. Most likely, something happened in the case of this terrible situation at the border."She suggests.
Among Anna's acquaintances, there are many people who themselves in the recent past crossed the border of Mexico and the United States. They suggested that the incident was the result of a misunderstanding of the asylum request process on the part of immigrants.
«This is a mistake that, I'm afraid, will be very costly for such people. And not only specifically to these guys, but also to the mass of those who are now fleeing from Russia and Belarus. It is very sad to realize that this difficult situation does not have and, perhaps, cannot have a simple solution. And as a result of the actions of scammers or provocateurs, innocent people suffer, as always.", - explained Anna.
Not all refugees are political emigrants
At the same time, the activist notes that not everyone who wants to get asylum on the American border is in reality political refugees.
«To our great regret, among the new wave of immigration there are people who have nothing to do with the Russian opposition. They are from the hinterland, often without higher education, fleeing Russia not from persecution, but rather from poverty. Relying on information from videos on YouTub in their actions, such people are most often in trouble in Mexico and at the border.", - says Anna.
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The journalist of the RTN TV company agrees with her Danil Rusakov.
«The information we have been told is rather limited. According to American law, there is a formal procedure for seeking asylum at the border. To do this, those who arrived simply had to get out of the car and turn to a person in uniform. If, in this case, people did not consider this option, but simply tried to break through the border, it is not very clear what they were counting on. I would not say that this is the most logical decision for asylum seekers. Let's remember how the attempts to break through the border of Belarus and Poland ended outside the checkpoints.", - recalled Danil.
According to him, the southern border has recently become a very attractive place for those wishing to get to the United States.
«There is a category of people who reasonably fear persecution: political activists, opposition journalists, human rights activists and others. But many are just trying to solve their everyday problems with the help of immigration. And it's a pity that not always the legal behavior of such people can affect real political refugees. The border guards are hardly specialists in Russia, and the situation in the country does not really matter to them. It is much more important for border guards to track down which countries' citizens most often break the law. And this means that the "minus" in relation to the holders of Russian passports, most likely, has already been put in some kind of intradepartmental summary tables", - suggested the journalist.
The only way not to get rejected
Meanwhile, an immigration attorney from San Diego Alexander Markman adheres to a slightly different point of view. Currently, crossing the border by car is the only way to apply for asylum to the American authorities and not get an instant rejection, he said.
«In recent years, the number of refugees from Russia has indeed sharply increased. And given the fact that it is now impossible to obtain an American visa in Russia, many of them are trying to get into the country through the southern border. But the problem is that at the onset of the pandemic, the Trump administration enacted Section 42 of the United States Federal Code regarding epidemiological travel restrictions. As a result, almost all people who came to the border on foot and asked for asylum were turned back by the border guards with the words: "Sorry, we cannot receive you." This rule, introduced by the previous administration, has not been canceled so far.", - explained the lawyer.
That is why, according to Alexander, many applicants have developed a different scheme for applying for asylum: to drive a car across the border dividing line and then immediately contact the officer with your request. In this case, refugees are already subject to other laws prohibiting them from being denied asylum without a court decision.
«Now such applicants are treated more humanely than in the days of Trump, and not all of these people end up in immigration prisons. Most often, such a fate awaits those who do not have guarantors.", - noted Alexander Markman.
As for the incident at the border, the lawyer is not sure that the border guards had reason to open fire.
«Officers have the right to use weapons in cases where there is a serious threat to the life and health of themselves or other people. Based on the available information, it is not clear what exactly was the reason in this case. It is not uncommon for immigration officers to try to stop and turn vehicles before crossing the border. Perhaps something similar happened in this case, and the people, not listening to the border guards, drove on. Even so, it’s hard for me to imagine that they were driving at high speed. Firstly, in such queues, cars are very close to each other. Secondly, in this area there are many restrictions, for example, a barrier and a very winding road along which it is simply impossible to accelerate. So so far, from what we know, it is very difficult to draw any unambiguous conclusions.", - summed up the lawyer.
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