Last June, U.S. authorities discovered 4,000 Iraqis had filed fraudulent applications for resettlement in the United States as refugees. That led government officials to re-examine cases involving more than 104,000 others, according to State Department reports reviewed by Reuters.
Naturally, that news raises concerns about President Joe Biden’s administration operating a similar program to assist Afghan refugees following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The alleged fraud with Iraqis ran from February 2016 until at least April 2019, according to court records. The investigation began in February 2019, according to State Department documents.
So, can we trust the Biden Administration — or any other — to properly check on those currently seeking asylum from Afghanistan?
U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is among those who have concerns. He said in part that the U.S. “brought a lot of people out who we shouldn’t have brought out. People who had no particular attachment to the United States, who hadn’t fought with our troops. You’ve seen the reports now of a young female soldier being assaulted at Fort Bliss in El Paso, or sex offenses by Afghan men at Fort McCoy and other offenses.”
“There’s really no vetting. It’s hard to do in Afghanistan. That’s one reason it took so long because you’ve got to go interview people face to face. I mean, Afghanistan is a Third World country. You don’t just call the FBI or the high school, or the local police. So we have almost no way to vet these people. The Biden administration is taking their name, if it is their name, and testing It against databases, and if they don’t come back, it’s like, well, they must be fine to go. it’s basically whoever was able to get into the airport, especially in those first chaotic days after the fall of Kabul. Again, we have no idea who these people are.”
Contrary to what some might say, Sen. Cotton isn’t anti-immigrant. The majority of Americans recognize that this country was built with immigrants and needs new immigrants to help fill the hundreds of thousands of jobs available. What Sen Cotton and many Americans don’t want is what we have been seeing so far — surges of immigrants flooding the border. Many of them have been turned loose in the United States with a promise to return for a court date. Few of them ever do.
No country operates like this. Nations need secure borders to control who is coming in. Why is it now considered racist or hateful for Americans to seek what previous generations of immigrants and other administrations understood was necessary to preserve the nation?