Long before Russia invaded Ukraine, thousands of people fled Russia for the United States. Two of our clients at Zadykyan Law took out a loan, flew to Mexico, and sought asylum at the U.S. border. These brave refugees were recently profiled by The New York Times, where Attorney Anaida Zadykyan discussed her practice.
‘People Have Been Fleeing Russia Like Crazy’
“I get calls every other day; people have been fleeing Russia like crazy,” she told the publication. The New York Times spoke to Ms. Zadykyan because she has been helping Russians file asylum claims – and because she grew up in Moscow.
Helping clients survive and thrive in the United States is our goal at Zadykyan Law.
Why Are Russian and Ukrainian Immigrants Coming from Mexico?
Due to tensions between the United States and Russia, Russians have had a hard time getting a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. COVID-19 has only made the situation worse. As such, many Russians fly to Mexico with a visa they obtain electronically and enter the United States through border cities like San Diego.
As an immigration attorney in nearby Los Angeles, Ms. Zadykyan has helped many of these refugees seek asylum.
Similarly, the demand for immigration has been “overwhelming” from Ukrainians wishing to enter the United States and sponsor relatives in other countries. Some major European cities have begun expediting visas, and the United States has granted two-thirds of asylum cases from Russia and Ukraine.
Russian Migration Has Been Rising Since June
Advocates have been assisting Russian migrants with food and lodging since June of 2021. Between June and February 21, 2022, Russians were among the top-three nationalities assisted by the San Diego Rapid Response Network.
The charity has also seen more Ukrainians in recent weeks.
How Does Someone Qualify for Asylum in the United States?
An individual or family may apply for asylum if they come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Many of the people who have fled Russia are Jehovah’s Witnesses or members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community.
Often, people who cross the border without visas make their asylum cases during deportation proceedings. In Mexico, many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants are arrested and held at the border before being allowed to proceed into Los Angeles.
Still, crossing the border can be dangerous, and refugees should always talk to an attorney before they enter the United States if possible.
No matter where you are in the world, you can schedule a free consultation with Zadykyan Law. Our team will take time to listen, answer your questions, and create a tailored strategy to accomplish your goals.
For your convenience and safety, we offer free consultations through phone, video, WhatsApp, and Zoom; same-day appointments are available.