Tom Cotton Sounds Alarm on ‘Unknown Afghans’ Fleeing U.S. Military Bases

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on April 28, 2021. (Photo by Tom Williams / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says it is “alarming” that hundreds of seemingly “unknown Afghans” brought to the United States by President Joe Biden’s administration are prematurely fleeing U.S. military bases.

Last week, Reuters reported that at least 700 Afghans had fled U.S. bases in Wisconsin, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, New Mexico, and New Jersey for American communities before having been resettled by refugee contractors.

At Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, alone, the report stated that more than 300 Afghans had left since they started arriving weeks ago as part of Biden’s massive operation that plans to bring at least 95,000 Afghans to the U.S. for resettlement in 46 states.

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division escort Afghan evacuees to their living accommodations at Fort Bliss’ Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico, Aug. 31, 2021. The Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command, and in support of the Department of Homeland Security, is providing transportation, temporary housing, medical screening, and general support for at least 50,000 Afghan evacuees at suitable facilities, in permanent or temporary structures, as quickly as possible. This initiative provides Afghan personnel essential support at secure locations outside Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by: Staff Sgt. Michael West, 1st Armored Division, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team)

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division escort Afghan evacuees to their living accommodations at Fort Bliss’ Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico, Aug. 31, 2021. (U.S. Army photo by: Staff Sgt. Michael West, 1st Armored Division, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team)

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cotton asked for information on the Afghans leaving U.S. bases. — including their immigration statuses and if they received approval from DHS to leave.

“A more extensive review and vetting process is absolutely essential for the tens of thousands of unknown Afghans who were airlifted during the evacuation,” Cotton writes:

The U.S. government is currently investigating multiple crimes committed in evacuee facilities. The American people have seen reports of a group of male Afghan evacuees assaulting a female servicemember at a Fort Bliss facility in New Mexico. [Emphasis added]

An Afghan evacuee allegedly sexually assaulted young boys at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. Another Afghan evacuee reportedly choked his wife at Fort McCoy. The State Department has raised concerns about child trafficking by older Afghan men. Even previously-deported criminals — including an Afghan who had previously been convicted of rape in the United States, and another who had previously been convicted of aggravated robbery — were airlifted back to the United States. [Emphasis added]

In light of these reports, it is alarming that hundreds of Afghan evacuees have reportedly left U.S. military bases directly into our communities, possibly before completing our vetting and immigration processes. [Emphasis added]

Cotton is requesting DHS to respond to his questions by October 8, though the Biden administration has repeatedly refused to make public information about Afghans brought to the U.S.

Last week, Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI) asked Biden to provide them with details about the number of Afghans who have been accused of crimes while temporarily living on U.S. bases and how many Afghans have criminal records.

Refugees disembark from a US air force aircraft after an evacuation flight from Kabul at the Rota naval base in Rota, southern Spain, on August 31, 2021. - Spain has agreed to host up to 4,000 Afghans who will be airlifted by the United States to airbases in Rota and Moron de la Frontera in southern Spain. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)

Refugees disembark from a US air force aircraft after an evacuation flight from Kabul at the Rota naval base in Rota, southern Spain, on August 31, 2021. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)

Similarly, Biden was asked to disclose how many Afghans on the federal government’s “No Fly List” have sought entry to the U.S. from Afghanistan. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) first requested the information on August 31.

The administration has yet to respond to either request.

The latest Pew Research Center survey shows Americans are, by a majority of 55 percent, not confident in the Biden administration’s ability to adequately vet Afghans they are bringing to the U.S. Likewise, 63 percent of Republicans and those who lean Republican, including 65 percent of conservatives, oppose Biden’s resettlement operation.

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

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