Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Biden’s Reckless Afghan Resettlement Strategy; GOP Senators Call for Halt to Afghan Resettlement Over Security Concerns

US Marine Corps/Sgt Isaiah Campbell/Reuters
Biden’s Reckless Afghan Resettlement Strategy:
At first glance, last week’s bipartisan passage of H.R. 5305 was not particularly unusual. The bill’s stated purpose was bureaucratic in nature: to extend the funding of the federal government after the end of the fiscal year on September 30. It’s the kind of stopgap funding measure that Congress has long preferred over traditional appropriations bills. But H.R. 5305, with the support of 49 Republicans — 34 in the House, 15 in the Senate — enacted more than just the usual funding-extension resolutions for existing government programs. The legislation also included provisions pertaining to the resettlement of more than 95,000 Afghan refugees.
This is a recklessly dangerous initiative, made worse by a persistent lack of transparency — and at times, outright dishonesty — from the Biden administration. Despite the Department of Homeland Security’s assurances that Afghan refugees are “vetted to the same rigorous standards we use during normal refugee and [Special Immigrant Visa] processing,” few of the recently arrived evacuees have even been adequately vetted for security threats, and none have completed the normal refugee-processing requirements. Furthermore, conventional criminal background tests are practically useless given that the vast majority of Afghanistan’s criminal-record database is not digitized and is inaccessible to American security agencies. In essence, the president has extended an invitation to tens of thousands of unknown individuals from a notoriously terror-prone nation to come to the United States — albeit with many of them waiting in another country first — with almost no adequate screening.
“Afghanistan is a particularly bad country to just simply bring people from, because the documentation standards are not very robust,” Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge and resident fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, tells National Review. “It’s a big country, it’s a rural country, and they don’t have the same documentation standards that we do. Even when we ran the country, we didn’t really have a lot of intelligence on who the good guys or the bad guys were, which is why there were so many ‘green on blue’ attacks.” Green-on-blue violence, shorthand for “insider attacks” perpetrated against U.S.-allied forces by Afghan soldiers or Taliban infiltrators who had previously passed security screening, took 172 lives and wounded 85 more in 2019. The deadly pervasiveness of these attacks is not an argument against accepting refugees, of course, but it does point to profound and systemic issues with our access to background information on Afghan citizens.
“Today, we don’t have access to any in-country information that we didn’t take with us out of Afghanistan, so our ability to actually screen these people is very, very limited,” says Arthur. --->READ MORE HERE
GOP senators call for halt to Afghan resettlement over security concerns:
More than a dozen Republican senators asked the Biden administration Monday to “pause” the relocation of Afghan refugees to US military bases, except for those who have been fully vetted and hold Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) — documentation granted to those who assisted US-led NATO forces during the two-decade war against the Taliban.
The letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also called for the vetting of refugees to take place at “safe locations abroad” and for the resettlement of Afghans in the US to be halted until the Pentagon’s inspector general is sure “that DOD is appropriately managing and tracking evacuees”.
“The Biden Administration’s security vetting procedures to clear Afghans entering the country remain unclear and incomplete, and, unless changed, are insufficient to preserve the safety of the American homeland,” said the letter, which was led by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
Thousands of Afghans have been brought to the US since the war-torn country was overrun by the Taliban in mid-August. Jack Markell, the White House coordinator of Operation Allies Welcome — the administration’s resettlement initiative — said last month that more than 50,000 Afghans are being housed at eight military installations around the US, with another 12,000 due to arrive soon from American bases in Europe. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow link below to a related story:

GOP lawmakers seek answers on 'hundreds' of Afghan refugees walking off US bases

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