Take some refugees, please, the Biden administration is now asking veterans and private groups.
With about 55,600 Afghan refugees currently parked at military bases, the Biden administration wants to leapfrog the existing system of refugee resettlement agencies, according to CNN.
It wants to create sponsorship circles of veterans and others who will provide money for refugees to have housing, furniture, silverware and a variety of other expenses — as well as develop a resettlement plan for each refugee.
To hurry up the process, the Biden administration also wants to place refugees beyond the former 100-mile limit from a resettlement office.
Former Democratic Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who is leading the effort to resettle Afghan refugees, gushed about the plan.
“This is just an amazing opportunity to, frankly, do what our veterans have been asking us to do, which is provide a safe and dignified welcome to Afghans who served by our side in Afghanistan, and who now want to build their own lives here,” he said.
As the Biden administration pushes to resettle those who arrived this summer as fast as possible, Republican Rep. Yvette Herrell of New Mexico said thorough vetting is important, according to KECI-TV.
Herrell has sought information in an assault that took place at Fort Bliss in which refugees are accused of assaulting a female soldier and claims she has been stonewalled.
The incident has led her to call for stronger vetting before Afghan evacuees are plunked down across the country.
“The data and the vetting is only as good as what you can compare it to. So were they truly able to compare criminal backgrounds, security backgrounds?” she said. “What’s really sad is we already know Afghans made it to the nation who had been deported by Department of Homeland Security earlier on.”
“I think it behooves us to at least leave these Afghan nationals in other nations until we can do a complete analysis and vetting process on each and every one of them, guaranteeing the American people that we do know their criminal background, that they can pass security background checks, that they are actually Special Immigrant Passport Holders,” she continued.
“[W]e just don’t know who’s coming in, and we really don’t have faith in this vetting process, because we know that they have already made mistakes,” Herrell said.
Refugee agencies, which in the past have been funded by splitting the resettlement fee of $2,275 the federal government pays out, said they are just too impoverished to do much.
“We just didn’t have the capacity after the beating we took under the Trump administration,” said Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, a refugee resettlement agency, according to CNN. “Necessity is the mother of invention. This is the outcome of that.”
Community Sponsorship Hub, part of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., is trying to find places to stash refugees.
“It’s providing this opportunity for communities that said they want to stand up, to stand up. That’s the point. It’s to maximize this outpouring of desire to welcome,” said Danielle Grigsby, co-founder and director of external affairs at Community Sponsorship Hub.
Grigsby said sponsors can bring refugees into their homes temporarily as well.
“The housing issue is a challenging one for sure. Every American knows that housing is expensive and in short supply,” Markell said.
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