A Republican memo claims that few of the roughly 82,000 Afghans evacuated to the United States after the calamitous American pullout from Kabul in August were not properly vetted.
The memo claims that screenings have not been done on the evacuees to sort out possible threats and are only reliant on criminal and terrorist databases in a process that those interviewed called 'reckless.'
Senate interviewed federal officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Justice and the State Department.
, reported by the Washington Examiner, claimed that the Biden administration wanted the screening process streamlined.
About 75 percent of the evacuees from are not U.S. citizens, green card holders or Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders or applicants.
Only 700 of 82,000 admitted held SIVs. Those grant the evacuees permanent American residency for helping the government during the 20-year occupation of Afghanistan.
Another 4,920 of the evacuees are American citizens and 3,280 are lawful permanent residents.
At least 40 percent of those admitted are eligible to apply for the visas but haven't done so.
The remaining 73,800 are Afghan nationals.
President Joe Biden said in August that the evacuees would have to take part in 'security screenings' at military sites before entering the country.
'Planes taking off from Kabul are not flying directly to the United States. They're landing at U.S. military bases and transit centers around the world,' Biden said on August 22. 'At these sites where they are landing, we are conducting thorough scrutiny — security screenings for everyone who is not a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.'
An extensive interview process was only put upon evacuees who 'had derogatory information associated with their biometrics or phone records,' according to the memo.
'As with any population entering the United States, DHS, in coordination with interagency vetting partners, takes multiple steps to ensure that those seeking entry do not pose a national security or public safety risk,' a DHS spokesman wrote in an email to the Washington Examiner in response to the memo.
'The rigorous, multi-layered screening and vetting process involves biometric and biographic screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from DHS and DOD, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and additional intelligence community partners. This process includes reviewing fingerprints, photos, and biographic data for every single Afghan before they are cleared to travel to the United States.'
As recently as a few weeks ago, dozens of family members of American soldiers remain trapped in and at the mercy of the more than two months after the Biden administration's botched withdrawal from the country.
Those stranded include children, siblings and parents of US service members, as well as more than 100 extended family members.
The Pentagon does not have a 'good accounting' of how many family members of DOD civilians remain trapped in Afghanistan since the last US flight left Kabul airport at the end of August, reported
'The federal government has turned their backs on them. If we abandon the family members of our service men and women in Afghanistan, they will certainly be slaughtered by the Taliban,' Rep. Michael McCaul said.
Congress members have been pressuring the Pentagon to help those stranded since the withdrawal fiasco, which included the deaths of 13 troops in a terror attack at Kabul airport.
In September, McCaul sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking them to assist in the escape efforts.
'Over the past month, I have been contacted by hundreds of Texans who are desperately trying to get friends and family members safe out of the country,' he wrote. 'That includes the family members of several Texans who currently serve in the military.'
Pentagon officials have claimed that many of services members whose family remain trapped were Afghan born.
In an effort to launch a rescue mission, the Pentagon has created a database of those who can't get out of the Taliban-controlled country.
Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, in a memo Thursday, asked any military personnel and defense department civilians with immediate family members stuck in Afghanistan to contact the government and have their loved ones added to the database.
'Any US military personnel or DoD civilian employees with immediate family members still in Afghanistan who desire assistance departing should contact the OUSD(P) Afghan Referrals mailbox,' he wrote.
Kahl instructed citizens to email a specific address with the subject 'immediate family member' and include their loved one's location, contact, personal information and passport data in the body of the message.
The defense department previously said it was tracking cases of Americans stuck in Afghanistan.
However, Kahl's memo demonstrated a 'more deliberate effort at the DOD level' to get military family members out.
Until now, said defense officials, the individual military services had been tracking cases of U.S. military personnel with family still stuck in Afghanistan.
'There is an increased desire to make sure that as we make this push that we have every situation accounted for,' he wrote, adding that the department its working 'expand its reach'.
The US military retreated to Kabul airport in August in the last days of its 20-year war in Afghanistan, evacuating tens of thousands of foreigners and Afghans who feared the return of the Taliban.
Since then the Pentagon has been working with the State Department to use the information gathered in their database to extract family members who want to leave Afghanistan.
Officials note, however, that the US military will not have a role in actually removing people from the country.
Meanwhile, US officials are warning that will create new difficulties for people wishing to leave.
Thomas West, the US pointman on Afghanistan, said Monday that the Taliban has largely made good on promises to let US citizens and US long-term residents leave.
'I think the real challenge we face,' West told reporters, 'is potentially logistical especially as we head into the winter months.'
'Many runway lights are damaged and not functioning and the airport's ability to operate in the winter months is in question,' he said.