Alaska senator calls for stronger border protections after Russian man crosses ocean to claim asylum


Two US senators in Alaska are calling for a stronger national security regime in the Northwest after two men fleeing Russian draft arrived by boat in the US mainland and claimed asylum.

Republican Senators Lisa Markowski and Dan Sullivan said the federal government’s response to the incident highlighted the need for stronger security measures in the region amid the war between Russia and Ukraine. He said he made it.

They also said it could be a sign that more Russians are fleeing the country to avoid the draft. welcome “Seeking refuge” Russians.

The men set sail from a coastal city in northeastern Russia and arrived at a beach near Gumbel on the northwestern side of St. Lawrence Island.

The men first met local community leaders for Sullivan’s handling of the situation until federal border officials arrived by plane 750 miles away.

St. Lawrence Island is located in the Bering Sea, west of mainland Alaska. Gambel, near the beach where the men landed, is about 50 miles from Russia’s Far East Chukotka Peninsula.

Epoch Times photo
You can see St. Lawrence Island on the map in the Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska. (Google Maps/Screenshot of The Epoch Times)

Murkowski said Thursday that she and Sullivan worked with federal officials and local residents to identify the man. She also pointed to potential national security weaknesses, noting that the federal presence in the Bering Strait region was “lacking.”

“Only local authorities and state law enforcement had the ability to respond immediately to asylum seekers, but Customs and Border Patrol had to dispatch a Coast Guard aircraft more than 750 miles away to reach the scene. It didn’t,” Murkowski co-commented. statement.

“This situation highlights the need for a stronger American security posture in the Arctic, which I have championed during my tenure in the Senate.”

Senators urge federal government to prepare for rising number of Russian asylum seekers

According to Sullivan, the incident may indicate that more Russians may follow suit to escape fighting in “Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Sullivan said he called Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorcas on Tuesday when St. Lawrence locals first contacted him about the situation.

“I have been in regular contact with DHS Director Majorcas and Customs and Border Protection officials, and have been working with the Coast Guard in case more Russians flee to the Bering Strait region of Alaska,” Sullivan said. I encourage you to make a plan,” he said.

“This incident makes two things clear. First, the Russian people do not want to fight Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” Sullivan said.

Epoch Times photo
A woman says goodbye to reservists recruited during partial mobilization before leaving for a military base in Bataysk city, Rostov region, Russia, September 26, 2022. (Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters)

Sullivan said the second issue highlighted by the incident is that Alaska’s proximity to Russia in the Bering Strait region is a threat to his state’s “strength in ensuring America’s national security.” It means that they play an important role.

“This is why Senator Markowski and I have been urging Washington, D.C. officials to prioritize the need for Arctic capabilities, including infrastructure, Coast Guard assets, ports and strategic defense assets.” he said.

Sullivan said CBP is processing the man to determine if he can enter the United States as an asylum seeker. Under U.S. law, in order for an alien to seek asylum in the U.S., an individual must first come to the U.S. border and claim it.

According to DHS, the man was flown to Anchorage and “processed in accordance with applicable U.S. immigration law under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” an Alaskan news source said. report.

Immigration attorney Margaret Stock said she didn’t know the details of their case, but the men are legally allowed to claim asylum.

“They are following the law. If you want to apply for asylum, you have to appear in America. We do not allow them to apply for asylum in a foreign country,” she said. interview with Alaska Beacon.

Stock said there are strong cases of defection when men are trying to avoid joining the military committing war crimes.

Illegal immigration is rare in Alaska, but unprecedented along the southern border of the United States. Southern leaders point to the Biden administration’s soft-border policy against a surge in illegal immigrants approaching the southern border to seek asylum.

Kayden Pearson


Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. To contact him, please contact [email protected].