Nearly two years after President Joe Biden’s disastrous botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration still has not fully vetted more than 88,000 Afghan refugees who were allowed into the United States.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, four Republican lawmakers condemned the Biden administration for their failure to properly vet these refugees — while also blasting the president for the failed withdrawal that left 13 American servicemen dead.
The letter — which was signed by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) and cosigned by Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC), Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Austin Pfluger (R-TX) — explained how the DHS “encountered obstacles to screen, vet, and inspect all evacuees” during the disastrous withdrawal.
According to the Republican congressmen, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “lacked critical data to properly vet evacuees” — though they ultimately allowed tens of thousands of Afghan refugees into the U.S. regardless, which was a serious risk to national security.
In a separate statement, Green called out the “failure of the DHS.”
“Not only did the Biden administration’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan threaten our allies in the region by allowing the Taliban to return the country to a terrorist breeding ground, but the failure of DHS to properly vet or screen all Afghan nationals during the evacuation has put the U.S. homeland and our security interests at great risk,” he said.
Green and Pfluger are demanding the Biden administration produce documents related to the Afghan refugee issue as part of House Republicans’ investigation into Biden’s botched withdrawal — which was so disastrous that even foreign governments have condemned the incident for poor planning, poor execution and for allowing the Taliban to almost immediately seize power.
Should the Biden administration refuse to hand over the documents, House Republicans may use a subpoena to force them to comply with their requests. The GOP previously subpoenaed Secretary of State Antony Blinken in March after he refused to provide them with classified information that detailed how U.S. officials were aware of the likelihood of the Taliban seizing power after the U.S. withdrawal.
Numerous document requests and other GOP efforts to investigate the botched withdrawal “remain either wholly unsatisfied or insufficiently satisfied,” according to the letter. “President Biden and his administration must be held accountable, and we will ensure its compliance with the Committee’s serious requests.”