Politics

Almost 82,000 Afghans entered the United States unvetted, congressional memo claims

Out of the 82,000 people brought to the US from Afghanistan in the past few months, almost none were vetted according to protocol.

Following the US exiting Afghanistan and the Taliban’s subsequent takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan, 82,000 people entered the US. Senate Republicans drafted a memo outlining the process that took place in relation to the mass migration to the US from Afghanistan. Despite promises from the president that refugees would be screened and vetted and that only qualified people would be allowed to enter, almost none had to undergo the traditional protocol that is required.

Senior officials from the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Justice relayed information regarding the process, which was reported by Senate Republicans. According to these officials, only about 25% of the people evacuated met the qualifications. Qualified evacuees were American citizens, green card holders, Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, and applicants for the visa. 

The DHS reported that 1,800 were Special Immigrant Visa holders, 4,920 were U.S. citizens, 3,280 were lawful permanent residents. That left around 90% of unqualified evacuees. One official reported that screenings showed that 40% of evacuees were allies and the other 60% were their family members. 

However, the traditional protocol requires an intensive screening and vetting process, which was not done. The Biden administration commanded military and law enforcement officials to adhere to weaker protocol as there was such a large number of people entering the US. As a result, screening was done, but not much more.

The screening process entails acquiring information about a subject, like name, birthdate, identification, and other metrics. Very few of the interviewees had official documents or knew when their birthdates were, making information hard to trace and prove. The vetting process, which is meant to get a deeper look into the subject and find if they are being entirely truthful, was forgone.

One source told the Washington Examiner that a better process would have involved sending evacuees to a third-party location, for example, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. However, they said, “They didn’t want to have a third-party location to treat them like refugees because they didn’t want to have to admit that even that evacuation was kind of a failure.”

They added, “They wanted to treat them all like SIV so that way, you can get them out of sight, out of mind and not have to actually process them as refugees and admit that even your evacuation that you’re taking credit for was kind of messed up.”

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BUSINESS INSIDER

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