September 13, 2021

Grave Concerns Over Vetting Afghan Refugees

Joe Biden’s abysmal retreat from Afghanistan is making determining who is friend or foe a serious problem.

Just who are these Afghan refugees, and how do we know they are who they claim to be? Following Joe Biden’s abysmal Afghanistan surrender and retreat, in which tens of thousands of Afghans sought to flee the country as the Taliban took control, serious questions are being raised over how well these refugees have been and are being vetted.

Questions over vetting have been raised via a letter sent to Biden by 41 Republican lawmakers. They write, “We are concerned that inadequate criminal and security background checks are being performed by the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of State on evacuees in their country of origin, and in other countries in which they have resided or to which they traveled before being brought to the United States.”

The letter further observes that DHS’s track record on vetting foreign individuals hasn’t been stellar due in large part to the lack of available and reliable information on foreign individuals. “DHS has released illegal aliens screened under the same U.S. government databases who were wanted for murder, as well as known MS-13 members,” the GOP members write. “DHS cannot reliably assess the criminal background of a person from Bolivia, let alone Helmand Province. In fact, this vetting has already failed in the case of Afghan nationals. An Afghan male convicted of rape in the United States and deported by DHS was evacuated from Kabul, allowed to enter the United States, and not caught until he arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas contends, “We have no information to suggest ISIS has come into the United States through the Afghan national population that we have admitted under our legal authorities.” Mayorkas also touted the department’s “multi-layered, multi-agency screening and vetting process,” essentially implying there is little for Americans to worry about regarding incoming Afghan refugees.

There’s no doubt that DHS is engaged in vetting these Afghan evacuees, but that vetting is only as good as the information available. Given the rush job of an evacuation, there is little reason to trust that the information collected is reliable. Nor is there any reason to trust the Taliban to supply accurate and uncorrupted intel.

There’s also the question of what to do with Afghan evacuees currently sitting in U.S. bases overseas — evacuees who fail vetting or are unable to be satisfactorily vetted due to lack of information. Do we bring them into the U.S. anyway? The way Biden has handled the southern border, does anyone really think he wouldn’t allow them in?

All of this is a huge problem, but don’t forget that there are tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. war effort. These people have been vetted and have shown their allegiance with and to the United States. And Joe Biden left them behind to be slaughtered by his new friends, the Taliban.

Every day that passes exposes more of the Biden administration’s absolute incompetence.

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