As many as 22,000 Afghan nationals will be fast-tracked to the United States military bases before being resettled across the nation, a Defense Department spokesperson has confirmed.
During a press briefing on Monday, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said President Joe Biden’s administration is planning to quickly resettle “up to 22,000” Afghans at a U.S. military base and “two additional stateside installations.”
The Secretary did approve a Department of State request for assistance yesterday for the transport and temporary housing of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants, their families, and other individuals at risk, so in the United States, we are assessing facilities and support at two additional stateside installations. [Emphasis added]…
I’m going to refrain from identifying those installations today as we continue to work the notification process … this would be in addition to the existing facility that we have at Fort Lee. Our aim at these three facilities would be overtime — three to four weeks from now — be able to provide support for up to 22,000 at-risk individuals. We will not have that capacity immediately, it will take some time to build it out. [Emphasis added]
Previous reports have suggested, without confirmation, that the two stateside installations where Afghans will be sent are Fort McCoy in Monroe County, Wisconsin, and Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
As Breitbart News reported, the Biden administration has no plans to prioritize the evacuation of American citizens out of Afghanistan — which has been compared to the Fall of Saigon in 1975 — over Afghans applying for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and P-2 visas. Defense Department officials have said thousands of Americans are stranded in Afghanistan.
Last month, Biden began resettling hundreds of Afghans and their family members at Fort Lee in Prince George County, Virginia. The State Department expanded who could be resettled in the U.S. from Afghanistan by waiving prior requirements and fast-tracking their resettlement, with the help of Republican and Democrat lawmakers.
From January to March, the Biden administration issued more than 2,000 SIVs to Afghans for permanent resettlement in the U.S. From October 2020 to July 31, 4,130 Afghans have been resettled on SIVs, alone, while another nearly 500 Afghans have been resettled in the U.S. through the refugee resettlement program.
Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to research, and each refugee costs taxpayers about $133,000 over the course of their lifetime. Within five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.
Kristina Wong contributed to this report.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.