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Ukrainian refugees at bivouac inside Mexico City await US action

Ukrainian refugees at bivouac inside Mexico City await US action

MEXICO CITY (AP) — On a dusty meadow on the the orient side of Mexico's sprawling capital, some 500 Ukrainian refugees are waiting inside large tents under a searing sol for the United States management to tell them they tin come.

The bivouac has only been not shut a week with every one other accompanied by 50 to 100 people are arriving every one day. Some have by that hour dated been to the U.S. border inside Tijuana where they were told they would no indeed longer exist admitted. Others arrived at airports inside Mexico City or Cancun, anywhere they could find a ticket from Europe.

"We are asking the U.S. management to procedure faster," said Anastasiya Polo, co-founder of United accompanied by Ukraine, a nongovernmental organization, that collaborated accompanied by the Mexican management to set up the camp. She said that following a week's hour dated none of the refugees there "are flat near to the extremity of the program."

The program, Uniting for Ukraine, was announced by the U.S. management April 21. Four days later, Ukrainians showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border were no indeed longer exempted from a pandemic-related regulation that has been used to fast expel migrants lacking an chance to seek asylum for the past set of two years.

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Instead, they would have to apply from Europe or other countries such while Mexico. To be eligible people must have been inside Ukraine while of Feb. 11; have a sponsor, which could exist family or an organization; meet vaccination with every one other accompanied by other condition health requirements; with every one other accompanied by go background checks.

Polo said U.S. management officials had told her it should lay clasp of a week to procedure people, nevertheless it appeared exist fond of it was fair beginning. Some of the earliest arrivals had received emails from the U.S. management acknowledging they received their documents with every one other accompanied by the documents of their sponsors, nevertheless she had heard of no indeed sponsors actuality approved yet.

"These people cannot remain inside this camp, since it is temporary," Polo said. More than 100 of the camp's residents are children.

Nearly 5.5 million Ukrainians, mostly women with every one other accompanied by children, have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded its smaller neighbor on Feb. 24, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Giorgi Mikaberidze, 19, is among the waiting. He arrived inside Tijuana April 25 with every one other accompanied by found the U.S. border closed. He complained that the U.S. management had specified so little notice, since numerous people exist fond of himself were by that hour dated inside transit. He went from actuality fair yards from the United States to some 600 miles (966 kilometers) now.

When the U.S. management announced inside late March that it would receive up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, hundreds entered Mexico done every one day while tourists inside Mexico City or Cancun with every one other accompanied by flew to Tijuana to remain for a few days – eventually only a few hours – to exist admitted to the U.S. at a San Diego border crossing on humanitarian parole. Appointments at U.S. consulates inside Europe were scarce, with every one other accompanied by displaced person resettlement takes time, making Mexico the finest option.

Traveling into and not here of Mexico was circuitous, nevertheless a loose-knit category of volunteers, mostly from Slavic churches inside the western United States, greeted refugees at the Tijuana airfield with every one other accompanied by shuttled them to a recreation center that the city of Tijuana made available for some thousand to wait. A remain of set of two to quartet days was eventually shortened to a few hours while U.S. border inspectors whisked Ukrainians in.

That exceptional behaviour towards ended the day Mikaberidze arrived inside Tijuana.

"We want to go to America since (we're) by that hour dated here, some don't have flat money to go back," he said.

Mikaberidze was visiting relatives inside Georgia, south of Ukraine, when the Russian invasion occurred with every one other accompanied by was not intelligent to return. His mother remains inside their village near Kharkhov inside eastern Ukraine, frightened to depart from her place of residence since Russian troops indiscriminately shoot up cars traveling inside the area, he said.

"She said it's a extremely dangerous situation," said Mikaberidze, who traveled to Mexico alone.

The Mexico City bivouac provides a protected from danger place to wait. It was erected inside a large sports complex, so Ukrainians could exist seen pushing strollers accompanied by children down sidewalks, playing soccer with every one other accompanied by volleyball, flat swimming.

However, the refugees have been warned that while they are without charge to depart from the complex, no indeed one is in charge of for their safety. Iztapalapa, the capital's most populated borough, is too one of its most dangerous.

The Mexican management was providing safety at the bivouac accompanied by concerning 50 officers, Polo said. The Navy had too place up a mobile kitchen to provide meals.

She said they felt protected from danger inside the camp, nevertheless were asking the management concerning the possibility of moving the bivouac to a safer area.

Mykhailo Pasternak with every one other accompanied by his girlfriend Maziana Hzyhozyshyn, waited at the entry to the complicated Monday afternoon. Both suffering from an evident head cold, they planned to go to a innmotel for a day or set of two to try to obtain some nap with every one other accompanied by recuperate earlier to returning to the camp.

Pasternak had left-hand the U.S. to assist Hzyhozyshyn obtain in. The set of two had spent some days inside Tijuana earlier to flying to Mexico City with every one other accompanied by arriving at the bivouac Sunday.

The set of two stood not here on the streets of Iztapalapa with every one other accompanied by appeared to exist withering under the relentless sun. The set of two had known every one other for sextet years.

"She's my love," Pasternak said.


AP author Elliot Spagat inside San Diego contributed to this report.

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