“We're not really vetting them before bringing them here — we can't do it this fast,” said Ken Cuccinelli, a former top Homeland Security official.
Vetting and processes refugees is usually an 18-24 month process with 14 steps. Meanwhile, 10,000 Afghan refugees are being moved in a 24-hour period. Huge shortcuts are being taken.
The Terrorism Risk
Biometric checks are still happening for refugees. They rely on DNA and retinal scanning. A small percentage (> 0.5%) of Afghan refugees were flagged for potential terrorism ties.
The problem with this form of vetting is that it's limited to our available information. Essentially, we can only flag people who have been screened before.
With the massive influx of Afghan refugees into the country at record speed, unscreened refugees are entering, making biometrics useless.
“With large numbers of people coming from Afghanistan, where we know there is significant Al-Qaida and ISIS-K presence, it’s highly likely that in some cases, these really sophisticated terrorists may attempt to enter the country as infiltrators,” the Pentagon official said.
How Bad Is The Refugee Crisis?
Advocates are currently demanding the admission of 50,000 unvetted Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and 200,000 Afghan residents into the country.
SIV Immigrants are being allowed in, and those without the SIVs are ‘paroled’ into the US. Immigration parole gives visa-less foreigners entry for humanitarian reasons.
As of now, the U.S. helped more than 114,400 people evacuate Afghanistan. 65 House Democrats are calling on Biden to increase the annual refugee cap to more than 200,000.
“Representative Tom Tiffany (R., Wis.) told the Washington Times that of the 2,000 Afghans housed at a base in his state, not one had the Special Immigrant Visa for Afghans employed by, or on behalf of, the U.S. government.” - National Review
Special Immigration Visas Are Fraud Prone Too
According to FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the SIV program is prone to fraud. 84% of Afghan SIV applications were denied for it. The applications are frequently falsified to give the Afghanis a better shot of acceptance.
For acceptance, the State Department uses personal interviews and non-government sources. They do not conduct background checks.
Bad actors and terrorists can breach the current immigration protocol.
There’s No Going Back
With the current vetting, fraud and safety concerns may arise after allowing the refugees into the country.
Because of current U.S. laws, there’s nothing we'll be able to do about it.
“We can’t deport them back to Afghanistan,” he said. “Conclusion: We’re just going to resettle them in the U.S. regardless of the results of vetting.” - Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies
Ultimately, every Afghan allowed onto a C-17 plane to the United States will now be a permanent resident of the United States.