(VitalNews.org) – Although the migrant crisis in New York City resulting from the southern border crisis is clearly a more pressing matter, the war between Ukraine and Russia is contributing to the crisis, too, as a record amount of Russians are fleeing their homeland.
From October 2021 to September 2022, over 3,000 Russian nationals cases were filed in New York’s immigration court. This week, that number reached 8,000, accounting for October 2022 to September of this year. According to the data, every year prior to the Ukraine war going back to 2001, this number was only a few hundred, which means the number of Russians seeking asylum is currently ten times more than it used to be before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The Office of Immigrant Affairs of New York City Mayor Eric Adams retrieved the statistical data from the Department of Justice and is monitoring court proceedings for immigrants to track their flow into the city. According to the mayor and immigration experts, the war is causing an exodus of both Russian and Ukrainian citizens to the US seeking asylum. Many of these immigrants travel to the US-Mexico border to apply for asylum and cross into the country, and a large portion of them end up in New York City. The Big Apple has the largest immigrant population of Russian speakers, many of whom are also Jewish refugees.
Kayla Mamelak, a spokeswoman for Adams, said that the city “has seen a notable surge in the number of” Russian and Ukrainian asylum seekers “amid this global humanitarian crisis.” Mamelak said the Big Apple has “welcomed these individuals and families” in the same way it has “for the over 110,000” others who’ve sought asylum in NYC “since the spring of 2022,” referring to South and Central American migrants.
In related news, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray said last week that a large number of Russian spies remain in the US. Wray said it’s something the FBI is “constantly bumping up against” while trying to block, prevent, and disrupt.
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