(CNSNews.com) - The number of times that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents encountered Russian nationals at the U.S.-Mexico border climbed from just 1 in July 2020 to 1,965 in July 2022, according to data published by U.S. Custom and Border Protection.
Border Patrol encounters with Russians at the Mexican border began climbing in early 2021—a year before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, 2022.
By contrast, CBP encounters with Ukrainians at the Mexican border remained comparatively low until March of this year—the first month after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
In February, CBP encountered 272 Ukrainians at the Mexican border. In March, that climbed to 3,274. Then, in April, it jumped to 20,118.
In May, however, CBP encountered only 375 Ukrainians at the Mexican border.
February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, is the only month since August 2021, when CBP has not encountered at least a thousand Russians at the Mexican border. That month, it encountered 769.
But in March, the number of Russians that CBP encountered at the Mexican border climbed back up to 1,217. In April it was 1,682; and, in May, it hit a peak of 3,394.
In June, the number of Russians encountered by the Border Patrol at the Mexican border dropped to 2,075; and, in July, it dropped to 1,965.
So far in fiscal 2022 (October 2021 through July 2022), CBP has encountered 17,524 Russians at the Mexican border. During that same period, it has encountered 25,278 Ukrainians.
“Encounters,” according to the Department of Homeland Security, is the “sum of USBP [U.S. Border Patrol] Title 8 apprehensions, OFO [Office of Field Operations] Title 8 inadmissibles, and noncitizens processed for expulsions under Title 42 authority by USBP or OFO.”
The Congressional Research Service said in a report published in July that some Ukrainian and Russian migrants have adopted a technique that has been used by Cuban migrants to reach the United States.
“Tens of thousands of Cubans have traveled via airplane to Nicaragua to migrate northward, as Nicaragua lifted visa requirements for Cubans in November 2021,” said the Congressional Research Service. “Others from outside the Western Hemisphere also appear to have used this tactic; since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have traveled to Mexico as tourists to apply for asylum in the United States at the Southwest border.