Nearly all of the approximately 82,000 Afghans evacuated to the United States from Kabul in August were not properly examined before entering the country, a GOP Senate memo claims.
The current administration has not examined information provided by tens of thousands of Afghans through personal interviews, and has instead chosen to rely solely on criminal and terrorist databases to see potential threats – or “screenings” – according to the congressional note, according to Washington. Examiner.
The memo – drafted by Senate Republicans in October – summarizes interviews with federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Defense, State and Justice, who oversaw what they portrayed as a ruthless screening and control process at home and at military bases, the examiner reported.
About 75 percent of those evacuated from Afghanistan were non-US citizens, green card holders, Afghanistan Special Immigrant Visas [SIV] holders or visa applicants, sources familiar with the note told The Washington Examiner.
In early October, only 700 of the 82,000 inmates in the United States had SIVs – which provide permanent residence permits to help the U.S. government during its occupation, Ohio Republican Rob Portman said in a November 4 speech despite allegations from the Biden administration that those aired from Kabul were SIV holders and allies.
Over 40 percent of the 82,000 have been considered “allies” who are eligible to apply for visas but had not yet applied, officials told The Examiner.
According to DHS officials, 4,920 of the 82,000 U.S. arrivals were U.S. citizens, 3,280 were legal residents, and the remaining 73,800 – or 90 percent – were Afghan nationals. DHS did not break down how many of the 73,800 were SIV applicants or not eligible for visas, The Examiner reported.
In August, Biden had said that all those evacuated to the United States would undergo “security screenings” at military bases before entering the United States, a statement backed by the State Department and later DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
‘Flights departing from Kabul do not fly directly to the United States. “They land at US military bases and transit centers around the world,” Biden said on August 22. legally resident. “
According to the memo, the Biden administration ordered the military and federal agencies to streamline the process of subjecting the evacuees to basic “screenings” with the additional, more comprehensive “approval” protocols established after the 9/11 attacks.
Screening refers to the initial information that refugees have provided to law enforcement through personal statements, public documents and biometrics as fingerprints. Vetting typically comes next time when an official interviews the person to confirm that they are who they have claimed to be.
Vetting interviews “were conducted only for evacuees who had derogatory information associated with their biometric or telephone records,” the memo says.
According to the examiner, DHS and the White House disagreed on its definition of “vetting.” DHS did not provide the paper with its definition.
“As with any population entering the United States, DHS, in coordination with interagency assessment partners, takes several steps to ensure that those seeking entry do not pose a national or public security risk,” a DHS spokesman wrote. in an email to the business. . The rigorous, multi-layered screening and control process involves biometric and biographical screenings performed by intelligence, law enforcement and counter-terrorism professionals from DHS and DOD, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and additional intelligence community partners. “The process includes reviewing fingerprints, photos and biographical data of each Afghan before they are allowed to travel to the United States.”
According to the memo, “Afghans without any identification or records were allowed to travel to the United States as long as their fingerprints or other biometric information was not already in a U.S. government database and associated with derogatory information (such as a known terrorist, terrorist affiliate) or criminal) .Federal officials said few Afghans know their birthday, which has resulted in a number of evacuees’ birth dates being recorded as January 1. “
U.S. officials are already aware of 10 cases of Afghans gaining access who would not have been allowed if they had been investigated. In September, two evacuees were charged with crimes, including a 20-year-old man who sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.