J.D. Vance: America Must Not Become a ‘Refugee Camp’ for Afghanistan

Afghan refugees enter Afghan territory after leaving Iran at the Islam Qala border crossing in Kohsan, Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Nov.11, 2012. Afghan officials from the Department of Refugees in Herat say round 600 Afghan refugees are expelled by Iran and over 500 leave voluntarily each day since …
Hoshang Hashimi/AP Photo

The United States must not become a “refugee camp” for Afghanistan, J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, says.

On Monday, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed that the administration is planning to bring up to 22,000 Afghans to the U.S. for resettlement across the nation. First, they will be sent to three military bases.

In a statement, Vance said driving a mass refugee wave from Afghanistan to the U.S. “is not the answer.”

“We have been at war in Afghanistan for 20 long years and I sincerely believe that it’s time for us to leave,” Vance said:

But with that said, Joe Biden’s implementation of this withdrawal has been an abject disaster. From abandoning Bagram Air Base before we got all of our citizens out of the country to leaving high-tech weapon systems for the Taliban’s taking, to unnecessarily pushing President Trump’s withdrawal date from May to the middle of “fighting season” in Afghanistan, President Biden and our generals have failed us all. [Emphasis added]

Now, the same failed leaders who just weeks ago falsely assured us that after 20 years and billions of dollars from American taxpayers that the Afghanistan national army would be able to hold their country, want the American people to accent thousands of unvetted people from Afghanistan into our country. While many of the Afghanistan people are good people, there are bad ones too who do not like Americans or our Western way of life. Resettling them in the United States so that our country becomes a refugee camp is not the answer. We must put our own American citizens first — in this situation and always. But the Biden administration is unable to do that, and this example only exacerbates it. If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will always put the needs and well-being of U.S. citizens first. [Emphasis added]

House Democrats, as Breitbart News reported, are urging Biden to resettle as many Afghans in the U.S. as possible — surging the number well beyond the total Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) that have already been allocated by Congress.

“We have a moral obligation to the Afghan people … we must immediately welcome them to the U.S. [and] provide real support as they rebuild their lives,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wrote in a statement.

As Breitbart News reported, Biden 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 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.

Over the last 20 years, nearly one million refugees have been resettled in the country. This is a number more than double that of residents living in Miami, Florida, and would be the equivalent of annually adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the country.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.


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