Potentially deadly holes in the Biden administration’s vetting process for Afghan refugees have already been discovered.
Several Afghan refugees who have failed their initial round of screening in the U.S. for a criminal record or terrorist past have been shipped off to Camp Bondsteel, an American military base in Kosovo, according to Fox News.
Kosovo is an autonomous region in what was once Yugoslavia that has been under American protection since former President Bill Clinton launched attacks to protect the majority Muslim population there from ethnic cleansing.
The base will house the refugees for an undetermined length of time. It’s not clear if those who fail screenings will be sent back to Afghanistan.
“A lot of people were moved very quickly and the intelligence community has been working hard to evaluate whether any of them pose a threat,” a senior law enforcement official at the federal level told NBC News. “Some of the vetting occurs while they are overseas, and some of it occurs here … We are not going to allow people to intentionally be released into the community if they have unresolved derogatory information.”
“The process through which Afghans apply for special immigrant visas or refugee status in the U.S. is complex, and some applicants are still in the process of obtaining needed documents and providing all the information required to qualify under U.S law for immediate entry,” the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo said in a statement Saturday, according to Fox News.
“Some media reports have left readers with the incorrect impression that the United States intends to transfer to Kosovo individuals whom U.S. authorities have deemed inadmissible to the United States. This is not the case,” the embassy said.
“The agreement between the United States and Kosovo allows the United States to temporarily host at Camp Bondsteel, a limited number of Afghan citizens whose applications require additional processing.”
The embassy said that while at Camp Bondsteel, officials will work on “clarifying applicants’ identity, employment history, or other ties to the United States.”
Initial screening — a process that takes a few hours — is done in Qatar, Germany and Italy, according to Fox News. Afghan refugees are then flown to the U.S. for eventual resettlement.
The Biden administration has praised its vetting process.
“Before anyone who is evacuated from Afghanistan comes to this country, they undergo a rigorous vet,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. “Unless and until they complete that vet they will not be in a position to come to the U.S.”
Price said he would not “detail publicly” what happens to those who fail the screening process.
The United States is planning to bring 50,000 Afghan refugees into the country, which, as Axios reported, is more than the total annual number of refugees the U.S. has resettled over the past couple of years.
Although the Biden administration has touted its vetting process, Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin said that after visiting the Fort McCoy Army base in Wisconsin, he has deep concerns, according to Yahoo.
Refugees there have not obtained visas and have not undergone a typical vetting process, he said.
“Does this mean they have ties to the Taliban, ISIS, or al Qaeda? Do they have ties to terror organizations yet [the State Department] just says we are fully vetting them?” Tiffany said. “I am concerned that they don’t have the information on background to make sure they are fully vetted.”
“Is the Department of Homeland Security short-circuiting the Special Immigrant Visa process and just saying, ‘We are going to give you legal status,’ and who knows if there will be any more vetting on parole?” Tiffany reportedly asked the State Department staff at Fort McCoy.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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