Pedal to the Metal For Afghan Resettlement
By Joe Guzzardi
The State Department has designated 19 U.S. cities as acceptable for refugee resettlement which made the Biden administration’s resettlement policy clear: pedal to the metal; damn the torpedoes, full-speed ahead. Afghan resettlement deserves maximum caution; the administration took the opposite road. The official argument for speedy resettlement is that our allies – those who purportedly worked side-by-side with the American military – are in grave danger, and must be airlifted out of Kabul immediately. No doubt, there’s some truth in that assessment. But Americans want guarantees that only friends receive invitations.
Since Americans are, by and large, trusting people who want to help at-risk strangers, most would be accepting of new refugees if confident that they had been properly vetted, and the good guys were weeded out from the bad guys. The White House assures a wary public that incoming refugees are being processed by “intelligence professionals or law enforcement officials.” The Biden administration insists the vetting is “rigorous,” and dedicated officials are working “around the clock” to safely process Afghan refugees.
Safely vetting 83,000 refugees in a matter of hours is impossible. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, visited his home state’s Fort McCoy where Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie told him that many incoming refugees had no identification and weren’t Special Immigrant Visa holders. The administration classifies unidentified Afghans as part of a vulnerable population, are therefore granted humanitarian parole – once a rarely used DHS option, but now commonplace – and are admitted, no questions asked. Afghan advocates are lobbying for a 50,000-person humanitarian parole.
Biden’s resettlement strategy is slipshod, begs for abuse and could lead to tragic homeland consequences. Comprehensive refugee vetting is a six-step process that, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ website, should take between 18 and 24 months. First, the prospective refugee must register with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees who refers the individual to a U.S. Embassy. Then, the State Department steps in, and begins several security checks carried out through myriad federal security agencies.
The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will partner with other agencies to create an Overseas Processing Entity, a document ultimately given to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. Eventually, the officer interviews the refugee face-to-face to determine if he can be resettled. Finally, the case returns to the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration for the final approval, subject to medical screening. The bottom line on faux vetting: the Taliban controls the U.S. Embassy. Documents that might help validate refugee petitions are inaccessible or have been destroyed. Anything other fable that the establishment elites’ offer up is smoke and mirrors.
Blood has been shed of Americans and innocent Afghans; trillions of dollars have been squandered, and countless establishment lies over two decades have been told and shamelessly retold. After American deaths, mountainous waste and brazen deceit, Biden adds insult to injury when he boasts about airlifting Afghans out of Kabul while citizens are left behind. Then, Biden, having done irreparable damage, forces his poorly managed resettlement plan on a skeptical public still coping with COVID-19’s fallout.
Although Americans never voted on the potentially nation-altering resettlement, taxpayers will fund the hundreds of millions of dollars the process requires over a multi-year period. No administration official has sought the opinions of the residents who live in the 19 cities. The administration is brazenly indifferent to deep doubts about the hasty decision to aimlessly resettle Afghan nationals. The refugees are, like it or not, on the way. Resettlement Biden-style is potentially a deadly Russian Roulette game of chance where Americans could be the victims.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.