Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the State Department is doing “accountings on the again finish” as Afghan evacuees arrive in america whereas some increase considerations in regards to the vetting course of.
Blinken, throughout a press convention in Qatar, mentioned the Biden administration centered on getting as many people out of Kabul and deliberate to give attention to a vetting course of after safely evacuating Afghanistan.
“In our effort to get as many individuals out as quick as we are able to whereas we had the airport functioning, we centered on doing simply that,” Blinken mentioned, including that State Division officers are “doing accountings on the again finish as individuals arrive in america.”
“My expectation is we could have a breakdown of the numbers of people that left Afghanistan, together with not simply Americans, however inexperienced card holders, SIV candidates, SIV visa holders, Afghans in danger, these eligible for P-1 and P-2 visas,” Blinken mentioned.
“All of that can be forthcoming within the days and weeks forward as we’re in a position to break down the numbers.”
Final week, following the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the White House mentioned intelligence and counterterrorism officers had been “working across the clock” to “vet all Afghans” earlier than permitting them to enter america.
The White Home mentioned these with Particular Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and weak Afghans had been flown to 3rd nations in Europe and Asia that had agreed to “function transit hubs” earlier than present process “strong safety screening and flying to the U.S.”
The screening course of for these people, based on the White Home, concerned “biometric and biographic safety evaluations performed by our intelligence, legislation enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals.”
The White Home additionally mentioned all Afghans can be examined for COVID-19 upon arrival to the U.S. and supplied vaccines and mentioned U.S. military bases are “prepared” to soak up SIV candidates and different weak Afghans for medical screenings, health care companies and different help.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., raised considerations in regards to the vetting course of Tuesday on “Fox & Pals,” saying he’s “extremely apprehensive.”
However a well-placed U.S. diplomatic supply advised Fox Information that people who’ve been flagged within the vetting course of can be despatched to Camp Bondsteel – the U.S. Army’s most important base in Kosovo.
The supply advised Fox Information that a number of people have already been despatched to Kosovo.
The supply added, although, that the U.S. authorities can solely maintain detainees for one yr at Camp Bondsteel, primarily based on the agreements with the host authorities. It’s unclear the place these people will go following additional screening on the base.
In the meantime, Biden administration officers have mentioned the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has shifted from a army mission to a “diplomatic” one. The State Division continues to be working to evacuate the greater than 100 Individuals remaining in Afghanistan, ought to they want to depart.
The State Division mentioned it “facilitated the secure departure” of 4 U.S. residents from Afghanistan on Monday, noting that the Taliban “was conscious” and didn’t intrude within the evacuation.
A senior State Division official mentioned the evacuation was accomplished “by overland route from Afghanistan.”
“Embassy workers was current upon their arrival,” the official mentioned. “They had been in good situation.”
The official mentioned the “Taliban was conscious and didn’t impede their transit.”
Fox Information’ Jennifer Griffin and The Related Press contributed to this report.