President Joe Biden’s administration has already started increasing the number of Afghans that will be resettled across the United States before all American citizens have been evacuated from Afghanistan.
On Monday, during a press briefing, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said about 25,000 Afghans applying for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) are likely to be resettled in the U.S. along with thousands more of their family members.
“And with the four bases, what our goal would be is to reach the ability, not necessarily the actual count, but the ability to build out to about 25,000 capacity,” Kirby said.
In total, Biden has suggested up to 65,000 Afghans are to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have said the U.S. must resettle more than 300,000 Afghans.
The total of 25,000 SIVs is a few thousand more than the 22,000 Afghans that Kirby had stated last week would be resettled in the U.S. with their families — an indication that the administration is looking to increase the inflow from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, thousands of American citizens remain stranded in Afghanistan. A figure released today suggests that just 3,300 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan out of 37,000 individuals who have been evacuated since August 14.
While the Biden administration has been unclear about the total number of Americans left in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported last week that potentially 15,000 Americans are still in the country, where the Taliban has taken hold.
An aide for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) stated on Monday that some Americans are being attacked by the Taliban as they are left in Afghanistan. An American woman, for instance, was reportedly beaten by Taliban fighters after traveling to the Kabul, Afghanistan airport without a male escort.
“She has heard nothing from the State Department — only from free lance volunteers a world away,” the aide wrote on Twitter.
From the start, the Biden administration made clear that the evacuation of American citizens over Afghan SIV applicants was not being prioritized.
“There will be a mix, not just American citizens, but perhaps some Afghan [Special Immigrant Visa] applicants as well. We’re going to focus on getting people out of the country, then sorting it out at the next stop. It’s not going to be just Americans first, then [Special Immigrant Visa] applicants,” Kirby said last week.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.