The Biden administration is asking Congress for $6.4 billion to pay for the processing and permanent resettlement of thousands of Afghan refugees in the U.S.
The massive allocation from taxpayer revenue is included in a temporary or interim federal government funding measure called a continuing resolution (CR) while lawmakers wrangle over passing an annual budget.
The government’s fiscal year, and its overall funding, ends on September 30, at which point the vast bureaucracy will, theoretically, run out of taxpayer cash to keep the lights on.
“An administration official said the funding request will support plans for as many as 65,000 vulnerable Afghans to arrive in the U.S. by the end of September and up to 30,000 additional Afghans over the following 12 months,” CBS News reported.
“That money includes $2.4 billion for the Defense Department; $1.3 billion for the State Department, for help with refugee resettlement; $815 million for USAID, for humanitarian assistance; $193 million for the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to ramp up its capacity to process Afghans and put them on the pathway to legal permanent residence; and $1.7 billion for the Health and Human Services Department to help Afghans build new lives in the U.S,” the report continued.
Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget is strongly urging “Congress to use the short-term CR to meet our commitments to Afghan allies and partners. The operation to move out of danger and to safety tens of thousands of Afghans at risk, including many who helped us during our two decades in Afghanistan, represents an extraordinary military, diplomatic, security, and humanitarian operation by the U.S. Government.”
The administration has touted its so-called robust vetting process for the refugees, the majority of whom lack special immigrant visas that had been awarded to those must vulnerable to Taliban retaliation, which purportedly includes biometric and biographic security screening.
While the U.S. is a generous, welcoming country that always steps up in times of crisis, especially for those who are fleeing persecution, critics aren’t so sure about the vetting, in part because of the lack of infrastructure in Afghanistan to perform thorough identity checks.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 19, 2021
For example, despite President Biden’s open-door policy for what he and his team consider at-risk Afghanis as alluded to above, GOP officials such as U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and others have insisted that most of the refugees had only a tenuous connection, if at all, to the U.S. mission as interpreters or otherwise.
Meanwhile, hundreds of U.S. citizens and green-card holders are still stranded in Kabul and elsewhere as a result of Biden’s botched U.S. troop withdrawal. The U.S. has reportedly evacuated about 125,000 persons from Afghanistan, about five percent of whom are Americans.
In a disturbing 2017 article published in the neocon journal The National Interest, Cheryl Benard alleged that Europe faced a “mind-boggling” crime wave from male Afghan refugees.
“I have worked on issues related to refugees for much of my professional life… But nowhere had I encountered a phenomenon like this one,” the former program director of the Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth and the Alternative Strategies Initiative within the RAND Corporation’s National Security Research Division claimed in her essay.
The Biden administration is also seeking an additional $24 billion for natural disaster relief here at home.
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