News & Politics

Afghan Refugees Headed to Nashville, and Tennessee Republicans Have Questions

AP Photo/John Raoux

Four hundred fifteen Afghan evacuees are headed to Nashville, Tennessee, where they’re certain to fit right in. However, instead of breaking out the “Refugees Welcome” signs and patting themselves on the back for their commitment to diversity, as any good politician would, Tennessee’s Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, along with its Governor Bill Lee, all Republicans, have written a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, asking him what steps have been taken to ensure that as these people settle in the state, Tennesseeans will be safe. What’s this? American politicians concerned for the wellbeing of their own people? It’s practically unheard of in these halcyon days of Biden’s handlers’ administration, but apparently in Tennessee, some people still care about Americans.

Blackburn, Hagerty, and Lee braved the inevitable charges of “racism,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia” and wrote: “Due to the Biden administration’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, we maintain concerns regarding strange Americans as well as the plan for refugee resettlement.” It’s unclear what they meant by “strange Americans.” Old Joe Biden? Kamala Harris? Mark Milley? No way to tell, but the part about “the plan for refugee resettlement” was clear. After the disaster in Afghanistan, it’s reasonable to wonder if this chaotic far-Left administration has an actual plan to do anything, other than to break down as much as possible any resistance to its increasing authoritarianism.

According to Fox News, the letter goes on to “lay out a number of questions, including what steps the administration is taking to assist U.S. citizens and Afghan allies ‘left behind’ in Afghanistan.” Blackburn remarked: “Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan put terrorists in control and left Americans, Special Immigrant Visa [SIV] holders and applicants, and allies stranded. A very small percentage of Afghans evacuated have proven service to the U.S. military. We do not know who the other Afghans Biden evacuated are, and Tennesseans are demanding answers.”

Blackburn stated, sensibly, that immigration officials must “thoroughly vet all Afghans brought into the United States.” But it is not at all clear that such vetting is taking place, or that woke Biden administration officials who identify “white supremacists” as the chief terror threat would know an Islamic jihadi even if he was screaming “Allahu akbar” and slicing off their heads. Accordingly, Blackburn added: “While our state is ready to welcome those Afghans who put their lives on the line to serve our country, the Biden administration owes it to publicly inform states like Tennessee before resettling evacuees into our communities.”

Fox notes that “in the letter to Mayorkas, Blackburn, Hagerty and Lee went on to press for details on the vetting process of those individuals as well as the timeline for resettlement. The Republicans asked for specifics on how many of those evacuated from Afghanistan and potentially resettling in Tennessee are Lawful Permanent Residents, Special Immigrant Visa [SIV] holders and P-1 or P-2 status.”

Related: As Trump Warns of Terrorism From Afghan Refugees, Some in GOP Look for Ways to Welcome Them

That’s an important question, especially in light of the fact that back on September 1, according to Politico, “a State Department official said in a private briefing to reporters that ‘the majority’ of special immigrant visa applicants were left in Afghanistan due in part to the complications of the evacuation, and that he and his team are ‘haunted’ by the evacuees the U.S. could not get out by the Aug. 31 deadline.” That is, the vast majority: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted on September 21, according to The Hill, that “of the 60,000 Afghans who have entered the U.S., nearly 8,000 are either U.S. citizens or residents, while about 1,800 are SIV holders, having obtained visas after assisting the U.S. military.”

Blackburn, Hagerty, and Lee asked how Biden’s handlers were determining whether “refugee status or parole into the United States is appropriate in the case of a person who is evacuated from Afghanistan,” particularly when we have “no additional or corroborating information regarding the person.”

They added: “We all ultimately answer to the American public, and the public deserves transparency and information regarding how this resettlement process is working so that they can understand and accurately judge its efficacy.”

That is true, but aided by a sycophantic press, Biden’s handlers have been able to consign transparency to the dustbin of history. It’s unlikely that Mayorkas will answer this letter from the Tennessee Republicans with anything approaching genuine transparency or honesty. Instead, hundreds of Afghans will soon be in Nashville and elsewhere around the country, with no one being exactly sure who they are, and no one held accountable when the inevitable disasters and disruptions begin. The people who would hold Biden administration officials accountable are all their friends and colleagues. In Washington, it’s a wonderful life.