The hasty evacuation from Afghanistan caused an immediate and urgent need to place thousands of Afghan refugees somewhere safe. Extensive efforts to house, feed, and provide medical attention to these refugees as they are being put through a strenuous vetting process have really put a strain on everyone involved.
There are currently 60,000 Afghan evacuees in the U.S. In the last two weeks, 44 Afghan evacuees have been flagged by the Department of Homeland Security as potential national security threats, according to a report by The Washington Post.
As of August 17, there were 13 of those flagged Afghans in custody are waiting for additional screening, 15 have been sent back to the Middle East, and 16 have been cleared to travel and remain in overseas transit sites known as “lilly pads”.
Dozens of more refugees have been flagged for additional review and sent to Kosovo to be reviewed.
Some of the evacuees that fled to the U.S. had previously been deported for past criminal offenses and have been sent to Kosovo as well.
The White House announced Friday that it has temporarily suspended flights coming in with Afghan refugees due to measles concerns.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that “Operation Allies Welcome” flights into the United States have been temporarily suspended at the request of the Centers for Disease Control as a precaution after four cases of measles were confirmed among refugees who recently arrived in the United States.
Psaki noted that the individuals have been quarantined and the CDC has begun tracing the measles origin. Everyone arriving in the United States is required to have a measles vaccination as a condition of entry.