Congresswoman Reveals Disturbing Thing She Found When Visiting Camp for Afghan Refugees in US


New Mexico Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell expressed concern after she visited more than 5,000 Afghan refugees housed at Holloman Air Force Base in her congressional district and military officials could not provide basic facts about those living at the base.

“Unfortunately, I left Holloman Air Force Base with more questions than answers. High ranking military brass and officials from Homeland Security and the State Department could not provide facts about the identities of those in the ‘Village,'” Herrell said in a Fox News Op-Ed on Tuesday.

“They did not know (or would not say) how many were U.S. citizens, how many were Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, or how many were merely people that made it onto our airplanes.

“Even more importantly, they could not say how many refugees had roles serving alongside U.S. forces,” the congresswoman added.

Herrell also noted the contrast between rescuing “Afghan interpreters” from Afghanistan and the need for the military to hire translators to assist with the refugees living at the base.

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“It is puzzling that the evacuation effort was sold to the American people as a rescue of Afghan interpreters for the U.S. military, yet I was told that the ‘Village’ at Holloman is forced to employ at least 50 outside interpreters to bridge the significant language gap,” Herrell wrote.

The congresswoman was also surprised to discover the Afghan refugees did not have to remain on base.

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“Surprisingly, Afghans are not required to stay on base. They are merely encouraged to stay, as this is where they will go through the process to ultimately receive citizenship status,” Herrell said.

“If they choose to leave, however, they are not eligible to return to the military installation. There were no signs, literature, or other visible efforts to help these people conform to our society. Even more worrisome, there was no discussion of the human trafficking, child brides, or sex abuse that have been widely reported.”

Herrell has also recently joined more than 40 Congress members, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks and members whose districts are currently housing Afghan evacuees, in a letter addressing the vetting of refugees.

“In past briefings, DHS officials have explained the department performs background checks using its national security and intelligence databases within the United States,” the letter said.

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“DHS has admitted, however, that it does minimal checks outside the United States and does not have access to many nations’ criminal background check systems.

“Foreign nations’ records are often not digitized, which is likely the case in the vast majority of records in Afghanistan. In addition, widespread corruption and failed governments make these databases unreliable, if not useless. This is certainly the case in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and likely true of the previous Afghan government,” the letter added.

Approximately 20,000 Afghan refugees have already been housed at military bases across the U.S., with more than 40,000 additional refugees at bases overseas being processed, according to a CBS News report earlier in September.

Eight locations in Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin are providing temporary housing to Afghan refugees — including those who helped the U.S. military, the outlet reported.

The sites now have a capacity of about 32,000, but the government is working to increase that to 50,000 by Sept. 15.

“As of Wednesday morning, the data reviewed by CBS News showed there were about 4,300 Afghan evacuees at Fort Bliss near El Paso, Texas, about 3,500 at Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, 3,300 at Fort Pickett in Virginia, 1,700 at Fort Lee, Virginia and about 600 in Quantico, Virginia. Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico received its first group of more than 100 evacuees on Tuesday,” CBS reported.

“On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced a new housing site at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, which has yet to receive refugees.”

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Dillon Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Western Journal and is the author or co-author of numerous books.
Dillon Burroughs reports on breaking news for The Western Journal and is the author or co-author of numerous books. An accomplished endurance athlete, Burroughs has also completed numerous ultramarathons. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three children.