President Joe Biden’s deputies are pulling unvetted Afghans through an emergency side door in the nation’s immigration laws — and are now asking Congress to let the tens of thousands of economic migrants get billions of dollars in American-funded welfare programs.
Few of the Afghan migrants are eligible for “Special Immigrant Visas” (SIVs) that were created for Afghans who fought alongside the United States, such as interpreters.
So Biden’s officials have declared the many non-SIV migrants are “vulnerable” migrants and are letting them in through the “parole” side door. That door was created by Congress for rare problems, such as a sick crewman on a foreign fishing ship.
Now the parole door is being used to import a wide variety of Afghans, many of whom face little danger from the Taliban, and some of whom forced their way past U.S. soldiers to get on U.S. aircraft in Kabul. Officials are suggesting that at least 80,000 Afghans will be pulled through the parole door.
But federal law does not provide any welfare or aid for the non-SIV migrants who enter via the side door.
So the White House is asking Congress to let the Afghans enroll in American-funded healthcare and welfare programs — along with their chain-migration spouses, children, and parents. The welfare programs include Medicare and Medicaid, Obamacare, Section 8 housing vouchers, and food stamps, along with specialized teachers for their non-English speaking children.
Many of the paroled Afghans do not speak English. Many do not read or write, and many lack the workplace skills to stay out of poverty in the United States. So the welfare cash will help employers train them for jobs that would otherwise go to Americans at higher wages. The cash will also help the eight big refugee resettlement organizations settle the migrants in towns throughout the United States, so boosting rents for Americans.
The groups have also asked for $6.4 billion in resettlement funds, in addition to the welfare offered to the Afghans.
The welfare request is buried on page 25 of a 34-page page list of budget requests to Congress, titled “Continuing Resolution (CR) Appropriations Issues”:
(c) Benefits – Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an Afghan national described in subsection (a), whose parole has not been terminated, shall be: (1) eligible for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits available to refugees admitted under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1157) to the same extent, and for the same periods of time, as such refugees;
(2) considered to be in a lawful status for the purpose of eligibility for a driver’s license or identification card under section 202 of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-13, Div. B (49 U.S.C. 30301 note); and
(3) eligible for any or all services described under section 412(d)(2)(B) of INA ( 8U.S.C. 1522(d)(2)(B)), if under the age of 18 (or such higher age as the State’s child welfare services plan under part B of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 620 et seq.) prescribes for the availability of such services to any other child in that State) and unaccompanied as defined by 6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2).
(d) Spouses and Children – A spouse or child (as defined in section 101(b)(1)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) of any Afghan national described in subsection (a) who is subsequently paroled or admitted into the United States at any point after the entry of that Afghan national shall be entitled to the same treatment described in subsections (c) and (f).
The Democrats have the votes to push the welfare expansion through Congress — unless GOP Senators oppose it or force some curbs.
Nationwide, 55 percent of non-citizen households in the U.S. use at least one form of welfare compared to just 32 percent of households headed by native-born Americans, according to a report by Steven Camarota, at the Center for Immigration Studies.
But the Democrats are taking a political risk in helping many unidentified Afghan migrants land in the United States.
RealClearPolitics.com reported September 8:
Former Force Reconnaissance Marine Chad Robichaux … [said] The U.S. military and State Department officials operating at the Kabul airport pretty much did … a pat-down for weapons and explosives and put them on planes, but there was no processing or vetting.”
The Washington Post reported September 5:
It was 2:30 a.m. when Mustafa, finally safe in the cargo bay of an American military plane after surviving the chaos and violence of the Kabul airport, glanced around at the other weary Afghans and was struck by what he saw.
Many had minimal identification and did not appear to have worked closely with the United States as he had, serving as a translator and analyst. They were “just people,” he said, who took advantage of a disorderly evacuation to flee their turbulent country.
“Nobody knows who was the good guy and who was the bad guy getting into the plane,” said Mustafa, who asked to be identified only by his first name to protect relatives still in Afghanistan. He added, “It’s a risky thing that I believe happened.”
The migrants include many older men who bring other families’ young girls as their wives, ensuring the two families can begin their chain migration from Afghanistan to Americans’ welfare rolls. YahooNews.com reported September 8:
“U.S. officials at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin have found many incidents in which Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the wives of much older men,” says a Sept. 5 report by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis in CBP’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security.
A U.S. government official familiar with the reports of alleged child brides said the problem is a result of poor vetting of Afghans. “The concern is, we’re seeing a lot of family units with very young girls. These girls are brought into the U.S. as wives,” the official said. “It’s not a small number.”
But homeland security chief Alejandro Mayorkas only offered a sentimental portrayal of the migration during a September 9 event at the National Press Club, saying:
What we have seen across the country is an extraordinary outpouring of generosity regardless of political party affiliation … a united effort to extend this Nation’s generosity in its proud tradition of being a place of refuge.
as the Afghans disembark from the bus that has brought them to the military facility [in Virginia], the soldiers provide the children with an American flag. And when the children wave that flag, their fathers place their hands over their hearts in gratitude, in reverence, and out of respect for what our country has meant to them.
The White House’s request for welfare is accompanied by a request that Congress put the migrants on a fast track to citizenship, theoretically allowing them to vote in the 2028 presidential election.
A majority of Americans oppose the resettlement of more than 50,000 Afghans in the United States, according to a survey by Rasmussen Reports. The August 18-19 survey included 1,000 likely voters.
For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates. This opposition is multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity Americans owe to each other.
So far, GOP legislators have done little or nothing to oppose Biden’s Afghan migration.