Biden DHS Withholds Afghan Refugee Report

White House estimates up to 95,000 Afghans will be resettled in U.S.

Getty Images
December 4, 2021

The Biden administration has yet to present to Congress a report detailing the number of Afghan refugees in the United States and on overseas military bases—in violation of a law that required those disclosures by Dec. 1.

A provision in a government funding bill passed Sept. 30 required Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to produce a detailed accounting of Afghan refugees both in the United States and abroad to Congress within 60 days. The Washington Free Beacon has learned that Congress has yet to receive any report from DHS.

The violation of a congressionally mandated deadline comes as more than 124,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan by Aug. 30, the last day of the United States' presence in the country. Of those, the White House says it anticipates up to 95,000 Afghans will be resettled in the United States. Many of the Afghans who arrived in the United States this fall lacked identification paperwork, raising terrorism and public safety concerns. The Free Beacon reported in September that Afghan refugees who arrived in the United States did not receive COVID-19 tests before departing Kabul.

Senate Republicans, such as James Lankford (Okla.), criticized the Biden administration's lack of compliance with the law at a time when Democrats are asking for $7 billion in additional funding for Afghanistan resettlement efforts.

"The Homeland Security Committee has not held a single public hearing on Afghan refugees or DHS oversight. Not one Biden administration official has testified under oath to the Homeland Security Committee on this process, even though the Biden administration has made DHS the lead agency on the resettlement process," Lankford said in a statement. "This is continued unchecked federal taxpayer spending with no oversight and no end in sight."

The report was mandated to provide the exact number of Afghan refugees in the United States, overseas military bases, and third-party countries. DHS was also required to provide "the number of Afghan evacuees at overseas bases or other staging areas who have been flagged as potential security concerns or risks."

Biden's chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan earned bipartisan criticism, with lawmakers questioning whether the White House was prepared for a flood of refugees desperate to avoid living under Taliban rule. Thousands of Afghans have already been resettled throughout the United States, although details about their identities are relatively unknown.

In September, two Afghan refugees were arrested on assault charges related to incidents at a Wisconsin military base. The following month, the Biden administration blocked a bipartisan delegation of lawmakers from entering a refugee facility in Qatar—a move which prompted anger from Democrats such as Rep. Lou Correa (D., Calif.), who said he was "furious."

A Free Beacon report revealed the Biden administration also refused to make public an annual report of immigrants violating the terms of their visas. Both former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump posted that report on the DHS website for at least the previous five years.

Published under: Afghanistan