Russian and ex-Soviet bloc migrants have been reportedly smuggled into Key West, Florida amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
According to the border patrol, 77 migrants from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan arrived in Florida in 7 different landings from four different countries.
Key West Police Department spokesperson Alyson Crean said that 15 migrants were spotted walking into Southernmost Beach Cafe which prompted police to alert federal authorities.
“They docked on a pier there and disembarked and went into the cafe,” said Crean.
Federal authorities suspect that the Russian and ex-Soviet bloc migrants were brought in by a human smuggling ring but did mention why.
“The Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and local law enforcement patrol the waters, and individuals attempting to enter the United States by sea, without a lawful basis to enter, will be subject to removal,” warned DHS spokesman Eduardo Maia Silva.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, thousands of Russians are believed to have fled to escape the rising authoritarianism in their country or to escape the economic downturn caused by international sanctions.
There were also a number of Russians who have been unable to go home since the invasion started because their cards have been blocked, leaving many without money in foreign countries.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.