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DHS guarantees to ‘swiftly and safely’ resettle Afghans into US, confirms some flagged evacuees denied entry

Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised to “swiftly and safely” resettle 1000’s of Afghan allies into america and confirmed that DHS has denied evacuees from getting into the U.S. because of “derogatory” info obtained through the vetting course of. 

Mayorkas was joined by Robert J. Fenton Jr., senior response official of the Unified Coordination Group, throughout a press convention Friday to debate Operation Allies Welcome – created to assist 1000’s of weak Afghan evacuees from Afghanistan assimilate into america.

The DHS secretary informed reporters that roughly over 40,000 Americans and Afghan companions have arrived into the U.S. from Afghanistan and are present process an preliminary processing at predesignated U.S. army bases previous to being resettled into communities. He touted the sturdy biometric screening and vetting course of in place, in each the U.S. and transit international locations, in an effort to make sure that each particular person getting into the nation is correctly screened.

AFGHANISTAN EVACUATION: DHS TO TAKE LEAD ON RELOCATING AFGHAN CITIZENS IN US, PSAKI SAYS

In response to a query from Fox Information’ Jake Gibson, Mayorkas confirmed that there have already got been people flagged with “derogatory info” through the vetting course of, and the U.S. is working with transit international locations on what to do with these people. The secretary didn’t specify the variety of individuals flagged or their current places. 

Mayorkas mentioned that 400 staff from U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP), the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) have been deployed to help the vetting course of. The federal government additionally shipped a whole lot of biometric machines to transit international locations to help the hassle.

Eight army bases have been designated by the Pentagon to accommodate refugees and are offering medical care, language entry providers and medical help. The purpose of the operation is to maneuver Afghans off the bases and resettled into the U.S. as “swiftly and safely” as doable, mentioned Mayorkas.

Mayorkas additionally acknowledged that america has admitted a “small quantity” of unaccompanied youngsters who’ve been evacuated from Afghanistan and he anticipated that there could also be extra that can arrive. The Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS) is working with DHS on that effort, together with worldwide and nonprofit organizations, who’re facilitating care and different assets.

SOME AFGHAN EVACUEES FLAGGED FOR CONCERN BY CBP AT MILITARY BASES WORLDWIDE

Fenton mentioned DHS is taking “each precaution” to assist cease the unfold of COVID by testing all evacuees upon arrival and providing vaccines.

The DHS secretary known as the evacuation from Afghanistan “unprecedented and historic,” noting that 120,000 individuals have been evacuated from Afghanistan for the reason that starting of the U.S. withdrawal.

Final week, President Biden directed DHS to function the lead coordinating company on serving to resettle Afghan refugees within the U.S. Fenton was appointed to guide the Unified Coordination Group, which is answerable for immigrant COVID testing and quarantine when required, preliminary processing and the resettlement of Afghans who will not be U.S. residents, inexperienced card holders or lawful everlasting residents.

“Already, DHS has been working intently with companies throughout authorities – together with our army, diplomats, intelligence group and regulation enforcement professionals, and lots of others – to make sure all Afghans are screened and vetted previous to being allowed into america,” White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned throughout a press briefing.

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The State Division has arrange “enough services” throughout the U.S. for Afghan visa candidates to be housed at whereas their vetting course of is accomplished. 

Nonetheless, when pressed throughout a press briefing Thursday, the State Division wouldn’t say what occurs to Particular Immigrant Visa (SIV) candidates evacuated from Afghanistan who fail the “rigorous” vetting course of.

Fox Information’ Peter Aitken and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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