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According to a memo written by Senate Republicans, only a small number of the Afghan evacuees who arrived in the United States following President Biden’s decision earlier this year to withdraw US troops from the country have been checked in addition to being controlled.
The alleged lack of control of most evacuees – which would contradict a Biden wish in August – represents a departure from a long-standing U.S. refugee policy, according to the report.
While the Biden administration sifted through the more than 82,000 refugees through terrorist and criminal databases, officials did not use the information gathered during the interviews, the memo said, the Washington Examiner reported, citing sources, and about 75% of those allowed in the United States were not U.S. citizens, visa holders, applicants, or green card holders.
“They have created a whole new process of out-of-tissue screening just for this population,” the source, who requested anonymity, told the examiner. “And then they said to everyone, ‘This is what you follow. »DOD [the Defense Department] was such a heavy part of it, and they follow orders. And so they’re like, ‘OK, here’s the checklist. I will do exactly what the checklist says – no more. So that’s how it went, but it was managed centrally through DHS [Department of Homeland Security]. “
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The source said this was a “significant” deviation from standard refugee screening. Monitoring became a requirement after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In August, Biden promised that the evacuees would be checked.
“Planes taking off from Kabul do not fly directly to the United States,” Biden said in a statement at the time. “They land at US military bases and transit hubs around the world. At those sites where they land, we perform careful scrutiny – security checks for anyone who is not US citizens or lawful permanent residents.”
“We are conducting a careful review – security checks for all who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents.”
The vast majority of those evacuated were not screened as only a small number were reported by U.S. databases and only those people were further investigated by officials, according to the note, according to the examiner.
The Department of Homeland Security, in a statement to the Examiner, said it had carried out “a rigorous, multi-layered and controlled check” on arrivals from Afghanistan.
“As with any population entering the United States, DHS, in coordination with interagency monitoring partners, is taking several steps to ensure that those seeking to enter do not pose a risk to national security or public safety.” DHS officials told the newspaper. The rigorous, multi-layered screening and verification process involves biometric and biographical screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals from DHS and DOD, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (FBI), the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and other partners in the intelligence community. This process includes examining the fingerprints, photos and biographies of each Afghan before they are allowed to get to the United States.
DHS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment after hours.
Robert Charles, a former Assistant Secretary of State under the administration of former President George W. Bush, addressed the issue of control on Friday during an appearance on “FOX and Friends First.”
“That means you have over 73,000 that you really should have controlled and it takes time,” Charles said.
He called the situation a “double tragedy”.
“We let Americans and visa holders and [Special Immigrants Visa] incumbents and permanent residents and former embassy staff back in Afghanistan and we took out 73,000 that we really had no reason to withdraw. “
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He added that new threats are unlikely to be reported in a database, which requires additional monitoring.
“We have to be right 100% of the time. The bad guys just have to be right 1% of the time,” added Charles.
“We have to be right 100% of the time. The bad guys only have to be right 1% of the time.”
Another source told the Examiner: “If someone from Afghanistan showed up at our southern border, which in itself is a disaster, they would be flagged for further follow-up and have an interview. Unfortunately, in this new system that they have set up specifically for this population, the majority of these people have not had any kind of in-person interview. “