The Biden administration is working with “urgency and care” to reinforce its screening and vetting operations as a part of its effort to resettle Afghan refugees in the USA, with senior authorities officers telling Fox Information that, at this level, no Afghans of “concern” have entered the nation.
Final month, forward of its Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all army property from Afghanistan, the Biden administration airlifted greater than 124,000 people from Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul. That included roughly 6,000 Americans.
For the reason that withdrawal, the administration has stated its mission has shifted from a army mission to a “diplomatic” one, and it’s dedicated to persevering with to evacuate Individuals left behind, in addition to Afghan allies, some with pending Particular Immigrant Visas (SIVs).
A senior authorities official on Tuesday outlined the screening and vetting course of for Fox Information, saying that the method begins abroad.
The administration has deployed greater than 200 Customs and Border Safety officers abroad to seize the biometrics and biographics of people. The official stated CBP officers then are capable of work with “interagency companions,” together with officers throughout the FBI, the Nationwide Counterterrorism Heart, the intelligence neighborhood, the Division of Protection, and others throughout the Division of Homeland Safety to “take a look at knowledge throughout databases to vet.”
The official defined that there’s a “second layer” of screening as soon as people arrive at a U.S. level of entry. Officers there undergo the data and “ensure that nobody let into the nation is of concern.”
“Nobody has gotten into the USA or entered that’s of concern,” the official stated. “The administration is working with urgency and with care to reinforce the screening and vetting operations to make them extra environment friendly with out compromising U.S. nationwide safety.”
A spokesperson from the White Home Nationwide Safety Council advised Fox Information that intelligence, legislation enforcement and counterterrorism professionals are conducting the screening and safety vetting for all Particular Immigrant Visa (SIV) candidates and different weak Afghans.
“We’re surging assets to guage every case to guard homeland safety,” the NSC spokesperson stated.
“If somebody fails these checks whereas they’re nonetheless abroad, they won’t be permitted to board a flight to the USA,” the NSC spokesperson stated, including that “if one thing of concern is discovered, additional safety vetting on the port of arrival happens and CBP has the authority to not grant them entry into the USA.”
The NSC spokesperson added: “The president takes no duty extra significantly than protecting Individuals secure, and we’ll use each instrument we’ve to make sure that no identified or suspected terrorists enter the USA.”
At this level, the Division of Homeland Safety has flagged 44 Afghan evacuees as potential nationwide safety threats to the USA, in response to a report by the Washington Publish final week.
Additionally final week, senior U.S. officers advised Fox Information that Camp Bondsteel, a U.S. army base in Kosovo, will quickly home Afghan refugees who don’t go the preliminary spherical of vetting. These officers advised Fox Information that a number of refugees have already been despatched to that base however stated it was unclear what the following steps can be for individuals who failed the preliminary safety screening — together with whether or not they are going to be despatched again to now-Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.