Thirty-five Russian asylum seekers were secretly allowed entry into the United States from Mexico following their escape from the Kremlin, despite many other asylum seekers being forced to wait or having their attempts at asylum rejected.

According to a report by Vice, which first broke the story, the 35 Russian asylum seekers spent about a week in Mexico and were then transported to a portion of the border where they would not be seen. The crossing reportedly happened on March 20. At predawn, they were handed over by the Mexican immigration team to the US Customs and Border Protection. Specifically, they crossed at a border checkpoint known as “El Chaparral,” which had been closed for months.