The U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last year has been roundly criticized as a chaotic military operation. Evacuating thousands of Afghan citizens, who were friendly to the U.S., was equally chaotic.
A new report from the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security found thousands of refugees were allowed into the U.S. without being properly vetted.
The U.S. began evacuating people from Afghanistan in July, before the fall of Kabul. According to D.H.S. protocols, those refugees could be cleared to enter the U.S. only after completing a three-step process of screening, vetting, and inspection.
Around 79,000 Afghans were resettled to the U.S. between July 2021 and January 2022. The O.I.G. report said thousands of those people couldn’t be properly vetted but were permitted entry to the U.S. anyway. The report acknowledges some cultural differences played a part in the failed vettings. It’s common for Afghans to have only one name or not know their date of birth, so verifying identities was difficult.
Still, almost 1300 Afghans made it to America without having their fingerprints taken, which was another D.H.S. requirement. Dozens of evacuees with derogatory information on their records were allowed into the U.S. One man whom the Taliban released from prison even made it to the States, but he was deported three weeks after his arrival.
D.H.S. responded to the report claiming all those resettled had been screened, vetted, and inspected.
Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he was alarmed by the O.I.G.’s report but not surprised.
THE U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN LAST YEAR HAS BEEN ROUNDLY CRITICIZED AS A CHAOTIC MILITARY OPERATION. EVACUATING THOUSANDS OF AFGHAN CITIZENS, WHO WERE FRIENDLY TO THE U.S., WAS EQUALLY CHAOTIC.
A NEW REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL AT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FOUND THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES WERE ALLOWED INTO THE U.S. WITHOUT BEING PROPERLY VETTED.
THE U.S. BEGAN EVACUATING PEOPLE FROM AFGHANISTAN IN JULY, BEFORE THE FALL OF KABUL.
ACCORDING TO DHS PROTOCOLS, THOSE REFUGEES COULD BE CLEARED TO ENTER THE U.S. ONLY AFTER COMPLETING A THREE STEP PROCESS OF SCREENING, VETTING, AND INSPECTION.
AROUND 79 THOUSAND AFGHANS WERE RESETTLED TO THE U.S. BETWEEN JULY 2021 AND JANUARY 2022.
THE OIG REPORT SAID THOUSANDS OF THOSE PEOPLE COULDN’T BE PROPERLY VETTED, BUT WERE PERMITTED ENTRY TO THE U.S. ANYWAY.
THE REPORT ACKNOWLEDGES SOME CULTURAL DIFFERENCES PLAYED A PART IN THE FAILED VETTINGS. IT’S COMMON FOR AFGHANS TO HAVE ONLY ONE NAME OR NOT KNOW THEIR DATE OF BIRTH, SO VERIFYING IDENTITIES WAS DIFFICULT.
STILL, ALMOST 1300 AFGHANS MADE IT TO AMERICA WITHOUT HAVING THEIR FINGERPRINTS TAKEN, WHICH WAS ANOTHER DHS REQUIREMENT.
DOZENS OF EVACUEES WITH DEROGATORY INFORMATION ON THEIR RECORDS WERE ALLOWED INTO THE U.S. ONE MAN WHOM THE TALIBAN RELEASED FROM PRISON EVEN MADE IT TO THE STATES, BUT HE WAS DEPORTED THREE WEEKS AFTER HIS ARRIVAL.
DHS RESPONDED TO THE OIG’S REPORT CLAIMING ALL OF THOSE RESETTLED HAD BEEN SCREENED, VETTED, AND INSPECTED.
REPUBLICAN SENATOR ROB PORTMAN OF OHIO SAID HE WAS ALARMED BY THE OIG’S REPORT, BUT NOT SURPRISED.