FAIR: Significant Fraud and Vetting Concerns Exist in Afghanistan Refugee and SIV Programs, Finds New Report from FAIR
(August 31, 2021, Washington, D.C.) — The Biden administration’s horribly botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has created a ripple effect of terrible outcomes. It has dealt a blow to America’s standing in the world, resulted in the restoration of a brutal theocratic regime, provided a safe haven to numerous terrorist organizations, and spawned a massive flow of refugees. All of these circumstances demand that America’s response carefully balance our obligations to Afghans who provided material assistance to our forces over the past 20 years, and our need to protect American security against renewed Islamist terrorism and further abuses of our refugee and asylum system, concludes a new report, Afghanistan Crisis: Fraud and Vetting Risks in the American SIV and Refugee Programs, by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
As we deal with the ongoing humanitarian fallout from President Biden’s Afghanistan debacle, we must clearly distinguish between various categories of people who are seeking to be resettled in the United States. These include:
- Our Afghan allies who worked with us and who have already been approved for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) or who have pending applications.
- Afghans who meet the statutory definition of refugees – people who have a well-founded fear of being singled out for persecution at the hands of the Taliban-led regime.
“The United States must make every effort to evacuate Afghans who have already been vetted and cleared for resettlement as SIVs. But, as is often the case, advocates for mass immigration are attempting to use the Biden-created chaos in Afghanistan to vastly expand a well-intended program,” cautioned Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
The report notes that advocates are demanding the admission of 50,000 unvetted SIV applicants, and as many as 200,000 Afghans whom we know very little about. According to government data, 84 percent of SIV applicants have been found ineligible during the first three months of this year, while a State Department report indicates that the instance of fraud in Afghan SIV applications is “relatively high compared to other countries and programs.” Advocates are also calling upon the president to assert broad parole power to grant admission to Afghan nationals who are not otherwise admissible.
“Given the warning by the Department of Defense that the situation in Afghanistan poses enhanced risks of terrorism to the United States, the first obligation of the administration must be ensuring that no one from this dangerous part of the world is admitted without thorough vetting,” Stein said. “Because it is virtually impossible to remove people once they have entered the United States, the vetting process must take place outside the country.”
The report concludes that as the United States reckons with the new realities in Afghanistan, resettlement priority must be given to those who have been approved for SIVs. Additionally, the United States must work closely with allies and international agencies to protect other Afghans who have a well-founded fear of persecution at the hands of the Taliban, but that does not mean wholesale resettlement in this country.
“The combined effect of the Biden administration’s mismanaged withdrawal from Afghanistan, combined with its disastrous border security and immigration policies, is a humanitarian and national security crisis. These epic failures must not be compounded by ignoring the clear and present dangers posed by an ill-conceived resettlement policy that invites fraud, or threatens the security of the United States,” Stein concluded.
“We must temper our compassion and moral obligation to assist SIV applicants and Afghan refugees with our obligation to ensure we’re not inadvertently importing a serious threat to our homeland. It’s common sense. We should not abandon an intelligence driven, robust vetting process in exchange for speed. Once removed from Afghanistan, and in a safe third-country location, time is on our side. There is no reason to rush a meaningful and well executed vetting process prior to allowing entry into the US. But the Biden Administration is more concerned with addressing the political optics of the Afghanistan crisis by telling the American people just how fast and how many Afghans they’ve evacuated. It defies logic,” said Mark Morgan, FAIR’s senior fellow and the former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org