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‘Uninhabitable conditions’ | Ukrainian woman detained by ICE under Title 42 after fleeing war torn country

In February 2022, CBP apprehended over 89,000 under Title 42 and a total of 426,826 since October of 2021.

TIJUANA, Baja California — From waking up to deadly explosions because of the Russian invasion, to fleeing her country only to be detained in handcuffs at the southern border of the United States. That's how Klymentii Denys recounts the terrifying past couple of weeks his wife Kristina Denys has dealt with.

Denys says he was on a business trip in the United States when he left his wife behind in Ukraine, thinking they would reunite in a couple of days. 

Except, he had no idea what would eventually unfold. 

“Kristina actually woke up to explosions, and you know, she didn’t know what to do, so they decided she needs to seek shelter, she needs to find somewhere where she can be in a safe place,” said his cousin Luke, who was translating for Denys.

Denys knew going back to his country while the war was happening would be a mistake. That is why his wife made the treacherous journey to meet him here in the U.S.

However, after arriving at the southern border, things continued to worsen for her.

“Yeah, she flew from Poland to Mexico. From Mexico she got into the border and crossed from Tijuana. A few minutes later they handcuffed her and transported her to a detention center,” said Luke as he continued to translate for Denys.

According to Kristina’s immigration lawyer in San Diego, she was detained under Title 42.

Here is a guide on Title 42.

It is a Trump era policy that the Biden Administration has kept and defended in court by saying it is a necessity to keep the nation safe, while also preventing the spread of COVID-19 among immigrants trying to enter the United States.

According to the actual document found on the the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Title 42 is a policy that started:

"On March 21, 2020 the President, in accordance with Title 42 of the United States Code Section 265, determined that by reason of existence of COVID-19 in Mexico and Canada, there is a serious danger of the further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States; that prohibition on the introduction of persons or property, in whole or in part, from Mexico and Canada is required in the interest of public health. Under this order, CBP is prohibiting the entry of certain persons who potentially pose a health risk, either by virtue of being subject to previously announced travel restrictions or because they unlawfully entered the country to bypass health screening measures." 

In February 2022, CBP apprehended over 89,000 under Title 42 and a total of 426,826 since October of 2021, that's According to CBP's recent report found on its website.

Credit: CBP

Recently, the Biden Administration ended its policy for unaccompanied child migrants over purported public health concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it last week. However, the policy still applies for other immigrants which is why Tijuana is saturated with people coming from different parts of the world.  

Now with detention centers being overwhelmed because of asylum seekers, Kristina Denys has been transported to Louisiana. 

Denys is desperate, while his wife is dealing with the trauma of seeing a war ignite and now living in what she calls “uninhabitable conditions at a detention center.”

Credit: CBS 8

“She is having difficulty. She has health issues, and abdominal pain. Now she is trying to get medication, but they have not provided her with any sort. She is experiencing excruciating pain,” said Denys in Ukrainian.

However, It's not just Denys’s family experiencing these issues. San Diego immigration lawyers say dozens of Ukrainians and Russian families are heading to the border seeking asylum.

Credit: CBS 8

“We have had a couple people contact our offices, especially with the Russian invasion. We have many cases, one being a family who tried to come in by car because they heard that with a vehicle their chances of getting entry may be higher. Still ICE agents detained them,” said immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick, who also represents Kristina.

Hoping that he can be reunited with the love of his life, Denys prays his wife’s case is expedited. He also pleads to immigration officials that they show some compassion.

WATCH: Full interview with Ukrainian man who is hoping to reunite with his wife who was detained by ICE

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