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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement after the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General published its report about the failures and deficiencies in the vetting of Afghan evacuees after the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.
“Yet again, another independent watchdog confirms that the vetting of those admitted to the United States in the wake of President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has been completely insufficient. These failures raise serious concerns about public safety and national security.
“The inspector general found that the administration admitted or paroled thousands of evacuees who were not fully vetted, and noted that, during its audit of the Department’s Afghan evacuee screening and vetting efforts, DHS officials acknowledged to the inspector general that, throughout the initial months of Operation Allies Welcome, screening and vetting requirements were decided on an ad hoc basis. That’s no way to protect the homeland.
“The fact that Biden appointees at DHS had the audacity to criticize this report instead of taking steps to fix the problems tells you what you need to know. As I’ve said before, Congress should not consider sweeping status immigration changes for evacuees unless and until this administration guarantees the integrity of and fully responds to long-standing oversight requests regarding their vetting and resettlement process. Anything less would be irresponsible.”
Grassley has worked with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to seek transparency about Afghan evacuees “flagged” for security concerns and the Biden administration’s failures to use available vetting tools. Grassley also raised concerns in February, when the Defense Department’s watchdog issued a report about the deficient vetting of Afghan parolees.