Once a terrorist, always a terrorist? Don’t tell that to President Joe Biden.
A new report from Fox News revealed that Afghan citizens who were part of the repressive Taliban regime that was overthrown at the dawn of the Afghan war will be welcomed with open arms into America.
The report said that civil servants who helped the Taliban carry out its policies during the years from 1996 to 2001 will be exempted from rules that bar other terrorists from entering the country.
Fox said it obtained a draft document from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The document reportedly indicated the Department of Homeland Security will allow Afghan citizens who collaborated with the Taliban in the past, which would normally ban them on what are called terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds, into the United States — choosing not to hold their past against them.
The USCIS website says, “The definition of terrorism-related activity is relatively broad and may apply to individuals and activities not commonly thought to be associated with terrorism. As a result, Congress created a statutory exemption provision through which the Secretaries of Homeland Security and State may exempt individuals from the grounds of inadmissibility.”
The document tried to indicate that many of those the Biden administration wants to let into America might not have fully embraced the Taliban’s terrorist regime.
“Many individuals who worked in civil service positions before the declaration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996 continued to do so after the declaration,” the planning document said, according to Fox News. “Some did so under duress or other situations of hardship.”
“Some used their positions in humanitarian capacities to mitigate the repressive actions of the Taliban regime, often at great personal risk. Some of these civil servants later worked for or helped the International Security Assistance Force, the U.S. government or the Afghan government that was established in Dec. 22, 2001,” it said.
The Obama administration had first proposed the exemption that Biden, who was vice president during the Obama era, now seeks to implement. However, the exemption was proposed in January 2017, and the administration was out of office before it could act.
Fox said it was told by an administration official it did not name that the change would not alter other parts of the vetting process.
“The effect [of the memo] is that people who worked as doctors, grade school teachers, civil servants or low-level government employees wouldn’t automatically be barred from ever entering the United States because they worked in those professions,” the official said.
The document Fox reviewed said individuals who helped the Taliban carry out their brutal regime must pass “all background checks and pose[s] no danger to the safety and security of the United States, and other threshold requirements.”
The exemption comes in the context of the Biden administration seeking to resettle about 95,000 Afghan citizens.
Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell of New Mexico has said that after visiting Fort Bliss, where many Afghans are being held pending resettlement, she has questions and concerns, according to Fox News.
“We already know there’s weakness in the vetting process and the screenings, and we want to make sure as this continues, we can make sure the American people can feel safe and secure about the entire process,” she said.
Herrell said that despite the efforts of those working with refugees to care for their needs, the overall process is not what it should be.
“There’s no accountability, this was a rushed process by this administration,” she said. “We know it is flawed.”
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