REFUGE. People evacuated from Afghanistan aboard a bus after arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia, on September 1, 2021. | Photo: Efe.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has flagged 44 Afghan evacuees as possible national security risks in the past two weeks. The government examined cases of tens of thousands of refugees for resettlement in the United States, according to DHS investigation records reviewed by The Washington Post.
The context: More than 60,000 evacuees from Afghanistan have reached US soil since Aug. 17. 13 Afghans remain in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pending further review and control procedures, including interviews with the FBI and counterterrorism teams.
- 15 evacuees raising safety concerns were turned over to ICE, sent back to transit sites in Europe or the Middle East; or in some cases approved for release after further review.
- There are 16 Afghans on DHS lists who have not been authorized to travel and remain abroad in transit places.
And now that…? The Biden administration said this week that it hopes to resettle 95,000 Afghans in the United States. He asked Congress for $ 6.4 billion in emergency funds to support the effort. Polls show broad support for the plan, but Republican lawmakers and other critics warn that shortcuts are being taken with the investigative process.
- Biden officials argue that the investigation is rigorous and multifaceted, and relies on data from military, intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies. Unapproved evacuees will not be released into the country.
- DHS lists show that several Afghans were targeted for alleged associations with terrorists; or whose phones and electronic devices contained information that raised concern among CBP officers.
Main source of the news: The Washington Post.