From Fox News:
The Biden administration is planning to allow some Afghan civil servants who were employed by the 1996-2001 Taliban government to be exempt from terror-related bans on entering the United States, according to a draft document obtained by Fox News. The administration continues to bring in tens of thousands of Afghans as part of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The draft U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) planning document, reviewed by Fox News, outlines how the Department of Homeland Security is planning on issuing a memorandum to allow Afghan civil servants who worked during the Taliban regime to be exempted from terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG) if they fulfill other background and screening requirements.
TRIG places limits on individuals who are members of a terrorist organization or who have engaged in terrorism, making them inadmissible to the U.S. and ineligible for immigration benefits. The USCIS website says that the definition of terrorism-related activity “is relatively broad and may apply to individuals and activities not commonly thought to be associated with terrorism.” It means that TRIG would likely rule out those who worked under the Taliban regime, which ruled from 1996 until its ouster by the U.S. in 2001 due to its harboring of al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.
“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 document says in justification of the application. “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 adds.
The Taliban has regained control of Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal, and the Biden administration has been bringing tens of thousands of Afghans into the U.S., including those who helped the U.S. mission and those deemed “at risk.” The administration has estimated it will bring in approximately 95,000 Afghans during this fiscal year.
The TRIG exemption authority for Afghan civil servants was finalized in the final days of the Obama administration in January 2017, but it was never published or applied to any refugees, the document says. USCIS says the guidance is being applied now as it anticipates increased filings from Afghan nationals. The authority allows USCIS officers to exempt terror-related inadmissibility grounds that result from employment by the Taliban as civil servants between Sept. 1996 and Dec. 2001.
An administration official emphasized to Fox News that the memo would not change the screening and vetting process in existence and that each individual would still be screened, evaluated and cleared by law enforcement and counterterrorism officials before being admitted into the U.S. The official also said that similar exemptions have been made with refugees from countries like the Soviet Union and Cuba, and that, without an exemption, Afghans who worked as teachers or in health care could be excluded from entering the U.S.
Read the full report at Fox News.
CHAOS KABUL: ‘Firefight’ Breaks Out at Airport as Evacuation Chaos Enters Second Week
A firefight erupted at Kabul’s international airport early Monday as thousands of American troops struggle to evacuate citizens and foreign allies from Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s rapid take-over.
“One Afghan security personnel was killed and three others wounded when the firefight erupted between Afghan security forces and unknown attackers, the official account of the German Joint Forces Operations Command said in a tweet Monday,” reports CNBC.
“The German military also said that American and German forces were involved in the progression of the fighting, but that all of the German forces on the ground were unharmed,” adds the financial news outlet.
A report from Fox News highlights the scope of the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan as the network claims the Taliban now control 75,000 vehicles, 200 aircraft, 600,000 weapons and $85 billion in funding.
If this isn't impeachable, then what is? pic.twitter.com/n0K9iBalv5
— Bongino Report (@BonginoReport) August 20, 2021
“U.S. officials tell Reuters that the current intelligence indicates that the Taliban control at least 2,000 U.S.-made armored vehicles, between 30 and 40 aircraft and an untold number of small arms,” writes a reporter from the global news agency.
“Joe Biden creates the Taliban Army and Air Force,” posted former Trump official Richard Grenell on Twitter.
Joe Biden creates the Taliban Army and Air Force. https://t.co/x5ly8ez6VS
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 19, 2021
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan admitted Tuesday that the administration does not yet have a “complete picture” on the location of American defense equipment abandoned in Afghanistan.
“We don’t have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone,” the Biden adviser said. “But certainly, a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban, and, obviously, we don’t have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport.”
Read the full report at CNBC.
CLUELESS JOE? White House ‘Corrects’ Biden’s Claim 90% of Americans Got Out of Afghanistan
The White House issued a major clarification in the transcript from Joe Biden’s address on Afghanistan Tuesday afternoon; stating the actual number of Americans that got out of the country was 98%, not 90% as said by the President during the speech.
“Now we believe that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave. Most of those who remain are dual citizens, long-time residents who had earlier decided to stay because of their family roots in Afghanistan,” said Biden.
“The bottom line: Ninety [Ninety-eight] percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave,” states the transcript on the official White House webpage.
President Biden defended his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan during the address, labeling the effort an “extraordinary success.”
“No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity and the will to do it, and we did it today. The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill and bravery and selflessness courage of the United States Military,” said the President.
The US Embassy in Afghanistan posted a dire message on its official webpage Tuesday, saying the office has “suspended operations” and Americans can no longer rely on “United States government assistance.”
“The U.S. Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on August 31, 2021. While the U.S. government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist U.S. citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar,” states the memo.
“The Embassy will continue to provide information via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the Embassy web page, Travel.State.Gov, and Facebook and Twitter. Consular services remain available outside Afghanistan. To locate the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate click here,” adds the warning.
“Make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so that do not rely on U.S. government assistance,” warns the message.
Read the full report at the NY Post.