Senators ask Biden for 'overdue' report on vetting of Afghan refugees
Project Dynamo to continue evacuating Americans, US allies stranded in Afghanistan after dozens rescued
Combat veteran Bryan Stern and former Afghan translator Mohammad Mojadidi, who was rescued, joined ‘America’s Newsroom’ to discuss the evacuation efforts.
A handful of Republican senators are calling on the Biden administration to provide an overdue report on the vetting process for Afghan evacuees brought into the United States.
The letter, signed by six Republican senators, was a follow-up on a previous call demanding that Biden’s Department of Homeland Security provide composition and vetting information for the tens of thousands of Afghan refugees relocated to the United States following the administration’s deadly and chaotic withdrawal from the war-torn country.
Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the U.S. withdrawal in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday.
“Congress mandated this report include the immigration status of Afghan evacuees located here in the United States and at overseas bases of U.S. Armed Forces, including any evacuees ‘flagged as potential security risks or concerns,'” the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated. “This information is necessary for Congress to perform its constitutional oversight duties, which include an understanding of the composition of the Afghan evacuee population located in the United States and any potential national security concerns. As of the date of this letter, you have failed to meet the statutorily mandated deadline. That is unacceptable.”
“We request you immediately comply with the statutory deadline and provide the above referenced report,” the request concluded.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The letter was signed by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, Sen. James Imhofe of Oklahoma, Sen. James Risch of Idaho, and Sen. Shelley Capito of West Virginia.
Only a small number of the Afghanistan evacuees who came to the U.S. following Biden’s decision earlier this year to withdraw U.S. troops from the country were vetted in addition to being screened, according to a memo drafted by Senate Republicans, a report said last month.
The alleged lack of vetting of most of the evacuees – which would contradict a Biden vow in August – represents a break from a longtime U.S. policy on refugees, the report said.
While the Biden administration screened the more than 82,000 refugees through terrorist and criminal databases, officials failed to use information gathered from interviews, the memo said, the Washington Examiner reported, citing sources, and around 75% of those allowed in the U.S. weren’t American citizens, visa holders, applicants or green card holders.
In this image made through a window, President Biden talks on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
There have been reports of multiple crimes committed by Afghan evacuees after being relocated in the United States including incidents at Fort McCoy and Fort Bliss where Afghans were charged with crimes of engaging in a sex act with a minor, domestic battery, and an assault against a female U.S. service member.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report
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