President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is giving temporary quasi-amnesty status to nearly 75,000 Afghans in the United States, including those fast-tracked into the U.S. over the last seven months despite vetting failures.
To date, Biden has resettled more than 85,000 Afghans in American communities across 46 states since mid-August 2021. That resettlement failed to properly vet Afghans against counter-terrorism databases, the Department of Defense’s Inspector General revealed last month.
As of November 2021, the report states 50 Afghans already in the U.S. have been flagged for “significant security concerns.” Most of the unvetted Afghans flagged for possible terrorism ties have since disappeared in the U.S. In one instance, only three of 31 Afghans flagged months ago for security concerns could be located.
Despite the vetting failures, Biden is continuing to bring Afghans to the U.S. at least through August. Currently, some 100,000 Afghans are seeking U.S. entry but remain in Afghanistan.
Now, DHS will provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to tens of thousands of Afghans — helping them evade deportation from the U.S. and providing them with work permits to take American jobs.
The move will help keep nearly 75,000 Afghans in the U.S.
“The delay in issuing TPS for Afghanistan was purely intentional. Secretary Mayorkas didn’t do it right after our botched withdrawal to protect Afghans already here, but instead, because he wanted to increase the amount of Afghans in the country to benefit,” RJ Hauman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said.
“Now he has a sufficient Afghan population on U.S. soil, and suddenly a TPS designation is warranted,” Hauman continued.
Most recently, Biden’s Afghan resettlement operation came under more scrutiny when a Commander for the U.S. Navy Reserves was charged with allegedly taking bribes from Afghans who paid him to secure them Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).
According to the charges, the Commander was paid by more than 20 Afghans to write up and submit fake recommendation letters for SIVs to the U.S. As part of the scheme, the Commander allegedly claimed that the Afghans aided the U.S. Armed Forces, though they never did.
TPS serves as a quasi-amnesty for foreign nationals, created under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (INA), that prevents deportations for those from countries experiencing famine, war, or natural disasters.
Since the Clinton administration, TPS has been transformed into a de facto amnesty program as the Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden administrations have continuously renewed the program for a variety of countries.
As of 2021, more than 400,000 foreign nationals live in the U.S. on TPS.