GOP senators want answers regarding vetting process for Afghan refugees

President Joe Biden and other senior officials insisted that Afghan citizens brought to the U.S. in the wake of last year’s troop withdrawal would be fully screened and vetted for security purposes.

As one recent report determined, however, those screenings did not always take place.

“Most of them were not”

For its part, the administration is refusing to answer pertinent questions from Republican senators about the apparent lack of security screenings for refugees from Afghanistan.

Serious concerns remain regarding the tens of thousands of Afghans allowed into the U.S., specifically whether they lied about their identities, criminal histories, or terrorist ties.

Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Rick Scott (R-FL) sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinkin in which they laid out their concerns and demanded answers.

As Johnson’s office noted, a Dec. 30 deadline for those answers has passed without any response from the Biden administration.

The letter also noted that more than 70,000 Afghan refugees were brought into the U.S. in the months since August. Despite the initial vow to adequately screen each one prior to arrival, Blinken acknowledged during a Senate committee hearing that “most of them were not” fully vetted.

“Be straightforward with the American people”

During a public hearing in November, Mayorkas also admitted to Hawley that full “in-person, refugee interviews” were not conducted on all refugees brought into America and did not offer any specifics regarding how many people actually went through the process.

Breitbart separately reported that the White House refused to answer questions posed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) regarding how many Afghans evacuated on U.S. plans or flown to America were on the no-fly list.

The group of Senate Republicans made their position clear in the letter dated Dec. 16, writing: “It is beyond unacceptable that several months after President Biden’s disastrous and deadly withdrawal we still do not have a full account of all the Americans who are still trapped in Afghanistan or a full account of the Afghans who were evacuated to the U.S.”

They urged the Biden administration to “immediately address the lack of transparency regarding this evacuation and resettlement operation and be straightforward with the American people.”

In light of the missed deadline for a White House response, it remains to be seen what steps, if any, Senate Republicans will take next.

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