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In my last post, I highlighted David Bier's helpful summary of the major ways in which the Biden Administration has improved immigration policy. But one area where Biden has fallen woefully short is the treatment of Russians fleeing Vladimir Putin's increasingly repressive dictatorship. A recent New York Times article reports that Russian political dissenters who enter the US to seek asylum are often subjected to prolonged and cruel detention:
As Vladimir Putin cracks down on dissidents and arrests draft dodgers, growing numbers of Russians are making their way across the U.S. southern border. But contrary to their expectations of asylum and freedom, many of them are being put into immigration detention centers that resemble prisons….
Everyone who touches American soil has the right to claim asylum, though it is granted only to those who can prove they were persecuted in their home country based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
Many asylum seekers are released and allowed to argue their cases later in court. But thousands are sent to detention centers, where it is difficult to secure lawyers and collect evidence, and the chances of winning asylum are extremely slim….
"Proportionately, compared to people from other countries, there are more Russians being sent to detention," said Svetlana Kaff, a San Francisco-based immigration lawyer who said she has been flooded with requests for help….
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