U.S. Struggles With Afghan Evacuees Weeded Out in Vetting and Now in Limbo

However, the United States took them to military bases in the Persian Gulf countries and Europe and scrutinized them. In these transit zones, known as “Yuripads,” teams from Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center, and intelligence agencies interview Afghans to obtain their biometric and biographical information. Did.

Hundreds of analysts and agents were dispatched to work at the transit site, officials said. Others contributed from the United States, worked throughout the weekend, and shared information over secure video conference phones.

Some evacuees had already applied for special immigrant visas, while others were newly registered for processing when they landed at overseas bases. Screeners took fingerprints, photos, names, dates of birth, previous addresses, phone numbers or passport numbers and ran them through law enforcement, military and intelligence databases.

Some of the first warning signals were resolved within hours, officials said. They included evacuees who were in a database of terrorists whose names were known or suspected, but who were found to be different people.

In more difficult cases, a database query was that someone using the phone number associated with the evacuee called a suspicious person, or the evacuee was once denied access to an American facility. It is said to include cases showing that. Such database hits do not always provide context and need to be discussed in more depth.

Officially, the Department of Homeland Security To decide Whether to allow certain evacuees to the United States, as its secretary, Alejandro Mallorcus, has the legal authority to give someone a “humanitarian parole.” However, as a matter of informal practice, officials said the recommendations required inter-ministerial consensus.

Government agencies and their vast security bureaucracy use drastic power to decide whether to accept foreigners into the country. Under US law, foreign non-citizens are almost unreliable if authorities reject them.