Republican Lawmaker Presses DHS on Afghan Refugees Flagged for Terror Ties

Rep. Mark Green also requests info on reports of 'sexual assault, theft, and violence in evacuee processing facilities'

Rep. Mark Green (R., Tenn.) / Getty Images
September 14, 2021

A Republican lawmaker is demanding the Department of Homeland Security address reports that some Afghan asylum seekers are on terror watchlists and have been accused of sexual assault, according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

"According to your own words, you are the federal official responsible for Afghan evacuees," Rep. Mark Green (R., Tenn.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee and an Afghanistan veteran, wrote to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. "Your attention to these grave concerns is of paramount importance to the protection of the American homeland."

Green is requesting Mayorkas provide information on how many evacuees U.S. authorities have flagged during the screening process and address reports of "sexual assault, theft, and violence in evacuee processing facilities." Multiple asylum seekers have reportedly been on U.S. terror watch lists, including one with ties to ISIS, and others have been credibly accused of sexual assault.

The Republican congressman is also demanding a breakdown on how many Afghan refugees are translators and associates of the United States military, saying "the vast majority of evacuees currently in the United States were not interpreters who fought alongside our troops in Afghanistan."

The letter comes as the Department of Homeland Security faces internal turmoil. The department's chief of staff resigned on Monday, and sources tell Politico that morale is low among agency staffers, who are also confronting a surge in illegal immigration at the southern border. The agency faces the two crises even as some Democrats push for amnesty for illegal immigrants to justify massive government spending in 2022.

Afghan refugees did not receive COVID-19 tests before evacuating Kabul, the Free Beacon reported earlier this month.

The Department of Homeland Security did not return a request for comment.