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fleeing home

Over 2,000 Ukrainian refugees arrived at America's southern border in the last 10 days

The U.S. is experiencing a new surge of Ukrainian refugees at the southern border, with over 2,000 arrivals in the past 10 days, The New York Times reports. 

The sharp uptick in Ukrainian migrants, who are joining those from other countries around the world, poses an "immediate challenge" for U.S. border officials, the Times writes, considering authorities are already expecting a flood of activity once the restrictive Title 42 public health order is lifted at the end of May. The new arrivals also highlight the racial inequity at the border, where European migrants are treated seemingly more favorably than those from other regions.

Just a week ago, only 50 Ukrainian refugees had found their way to the Mexican border city of Tijuana. But soon thereafter, that number surged to 500, then 1,200, the Times writes. A makeshift encampment was built, and "dozens of Russian-speaking volunteers, religious organizations and private groups" stepped in to offer food, shelter, and medical care to migrants figuring out their next move.

Much of the issue stems from the U.S. promise to accept 100,000 refugees from Ukraine without detailing how it was going to do so, the Times writes. So instead, those with family and friends in the U.S. paid thousands of dollars to just travel to Mexico where they can enter sans visa, the Times writes.

The government "made an announcement and had no program in place," said volunteer Olya Krasnykh from California.

Meanwhile, outside experts are wondering why Ukrainian migrants get priority "over those from Central American and elsewhere," the Times writes.

"President Biden's decision to welcome Ukrainian refugees seeking safety in the United States is the right thing to do," said Center for Gender and Refugee Studies' Blaine Bookey. But "there is no way to look at what's happening at the southern border other than along racial lines."