State Department Can’t Answer How US Will Deal With Afghan Refugees Who Do Not Pass ‘Rigorous’ Security Screening

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Sebastian Hughes Politics Reporter
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The State Department would not reveal what the U.S. will do with Afghan refugees who are flagged for security reasons.

“I would rather not entertain a hypothetical,” Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, said at a press briefing Thursday when asked what would happen to Afghan evacuees who fail the vetting process.

“Before anyone who is evacuated from Afghanistan comes to this country, they undergo a rigorous vet from counter-terrorism professionals, homeland security professionals, law enforcement professionals, with the aid and assistance of our intelligence community,” he said. “Unless and until they complete that vet, they will not be in a position to come to the United States.”

Price said those that are still undergoing the vetting process would be put in “adequate facilities” until they are able to come to the U.S., but would not specify what would happen if they did not pass. He noted the department was doing everything they could to “expedite” the vetting.

Afghan Evacuees Arrive At Turin's Red Cross Centre

Afghan evacuees stand at the “Luigi Fenoglio” Refugee Center in Settimo Torinese managed by the Italian Red Cross where Afghan displaced persons are temporarily housed and Covid quarantine is carried out on August 31, 2021 in Settimo Torinese near Turin, Italy. (Photo by Stefano S. Guidi/Getty Images)

“In some cases, the vetting may take longer,” he said. “We do have adequate solutions for those cases that are going to be handled on a case by case basis.” (RELATED: State Department Responds To Report That US Officials Handed Over Names Of Americans To Taliban)

The department could also not provide information on whether Americans had been rescued from Afghanistan since evacuation flights stopped at a press briefing Wednesday.

“I don’t have data to provide on that front,” Price said. “We are exploring all possible options to bring Americans, to bring LPRs, to bring those to whom we have a special commitment out of Afghanistan, if they should choose to do so.”

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