Republican Tom Tiffany has raised security fears over 2,000 Afghan refugees housed at a Wisconsin military base who are allowed to leave with no checks.
Speaking on Monday, the representative for Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district sounded the alarm over Fort McCoy, an army installation in the state.
‘It appears the Biden administration is doubling down by bringing people who are unvetted into our country,’ Tiffany said on Fox News‘ Tucker Carlson Tonight.
He said that he was shocked when he learned none of the refugees who were stationed in the state had entered the country on a Special Immigration Visa [SIV].
The SIV requires a thorough vetting process that can take as long as two years.
‘They were all there on parole,’ Tiffany said. ‘The parole authority is granted to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He can just wave people in,’ he explained, charging the administration with ‘circumventing the SIV process.’
The congressman said that what concerned him most was the fact that the refugees were allowed to come and go from the base as they pleased.
‘People could leave the base…without the authority of the general that is overseeing Fort McCoy,’ he told the talkshow host.
Speaking on Monday on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson tonight, Republican Tom Tiffany – the representative for Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district – sounded the alarm over Fort McCoy, an army installation in the state that is housing Afghan refugees
While Tiffany accepted that there were Afghans who should be allowed to come and live in the United States after the US withdrawal from the country – after almost 20 years of occupation – he said those at the base were not being vetted properly.
‘They should go to a third, a safe third party country…or someplace like that and be vetted there. If they get through the vetting they should be able to come in,’ he said.
He claimed that in this year’s first quarter, 84 percent of people in Afghanistan who applied for an SIV were rejected. Just 16 percent were accepted, he added, before accusing the Biden administration of ‘circumventing’ the process.
The Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, which was enacted on July 30, 2021, authorized 8,000 additional SIVs for Afghan applicants. This was in addition to the 34,500 visas allocated to Afghans since December 2014.
The act allows Afghan nationals who meet certain criteria to apply for a visa, providing were employed in Afghanistan by or on behalf of the U.S. government, or by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or a successor mission.
This covers those that worked as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while working off-base.
Pictured: A dining facility as it is being prepared for the arrival of Afghans at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, on August 18, 2021. The Department of Defense, in support of the Department of State, is providing transportation and temporary housing in support of Operation Allies Refuge
President Joe Biden announced on Sunday evening that the Department of Homeland Security, which is also handling the migrants illegally crossing the border and damage from Hurricane Ida, would be the lead agency coordinating ongoing efforts across the federal government to resettle the Afghan refugees.
A White House official told DailyMail.com on Monday that ‘intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals are conducting screening and security vetting for all SIV applicants and other vulnerable Afghans before they are allowed into the United States.
‘This includes reviews of both biographic and biometric data,’ the official added.
The administration is increasing its vetting process.
‘We are surging resources to evaluate each case and process these as efficiently as possible to protect homeland security,’ the official said.
Several government agencies are involved in the vetting process, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and other partners.
A large field near a row of barracks, which is being prepared to provide a soccer field and recreational area for the arrival of Afghan evacuees, is seen at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, U.S. August 18, 2021
‘We are grateful for our dedicated personnel at those agencies and across the government who are working around the clock to expedite the processing and vetting of Afghans coming to the United States,’ the official said.
As more and more refugees entered the U.S. as American forces wound down operations in Afghanistan, the Pentagon added three more bases to the four other bases handling refugees: Marine Corps Base Quantico and Fort Pickett in Virginia, and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Combined the bases will have capacity to house up to 70,000 Afghans and their families.
The high influx of refugees and rushed resettlement process has other Republican lawmakers – in addition to Tiffany – worried.
Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell of New Mexico said her district is expected to host up to 19,000 Afghan refugees, more than any other congressional district in the country. Holloman Air Force Base is one of the new bases receiving refugees.
‘The people of New Mexico deserve to have a say in this process, to know how vetting is being conducted, and to know the results of that vetting,’ she told DailyMail.com in a statement.
‘Unfortunately, the Biden administration has completely botched the process, as well as a proven track record of letting unvetted criminals cross our borders with impunity.
A child and a US Marine pour water on each other to protect against dehydration and heat exhuastion as temperatures in Kabul climb over 90 degrees Fahrenheit earlier this month
‘As a member of the Oversight Committee and the Representative for the Second District, I am fighting for transparency and the rights of American citizens to protect their communities,’ she added.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin visited Fort McCoy late last week and told DailyMail.com on Monday that the Biden administration has ‘blundered’ the situation.
‘I believe we should successfully integrate our Afghan allies who fought side-by-side with us and kept Americans safe. But I have little faith in the competency of this administration.
‘They blundered into this tragic situation and then botched the withdrawal. They have failed the men and women of the military just as they have failed federal, state, and local law enforcement trying to cope with their self inflicted crisis on the southern border,’ he said in a statement.
More than 122,000 people have been flown out of Kabul since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban regained control of the country.
And more refugees are expected.
Marisol Girela of RAICES, an organization that helps refugees resettle in Texas, said her group has seen a ‘dramatic’ rise in refugees.
‘We’ve seen a very dramatic increase in the amount of people that we have been seeing since the start of the crisis in July and now August,’ Girela told NPR.
Army PFC Kimberly Hernandez, gives a high-five to a girl evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, before boarding a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport
People evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk through the terminal before boarding a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport
One of the refugees who made it to American was discovered to be Ghader Heydari, who had been convicted of rape and previously deported from the U.S., the Washington Times reported.
Heydari was caught by officials upon his arrival at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia, which is serving as a landing point for many of the refugees, when his entry was flagged. It’s unclear how he made it onto a refugee flight.
Other Republicans have claimed ISIS terrorists are coming in, a charge that hasn’t been proven.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday defended the vetting process and the method getting Afghan refugees out of that country but checked before coming to the U.S.
Many refugees first stop in another country – like Germany or Qater – where the vetting is completed. The process allows for a quick removal from Afghanistan but a background check before they arrive in the U.S.
‘One of the reasons why we’re so grateful to several dozen countries out there, some of whom are serving as lily pad countries where individuals are going, as for many of them their screening processes continuing before they proceed to the United States,’ she said.