Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty and Governor Bill Lee call for answers on Afghan evacuee relocation to Tennessee

US SenateWashington DC – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) And Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Along with Governor Bill Lee (R-Tenn.), Sent a letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking answers on the plan resettlement agency Joe Biden. over 400 Afghans in Tennessee without providing transparency on their status or qualification threshold.

Read the letter here or below.

Dear Mayorkas Secretary:

Due to the precipitous withdrawal of the Joe Biden administration from Afghanistan, we continue to have concerns about stranded Americans as well as the refugee resettlement plan.

In an effort to establish transparency and clear expectations, please provide answers to the following unanswered questions regarding the Biden administration’s plan for the resettlement of refugees associated with the collapse of Afghanistan:

  1. What steps are being taken to help American citizens and their partners who remain in Afghanistan?
  2. What is the relocation schedule for the 415 people evacuated from Afghanistan and proposed for resettlement in Tennessee? Is this number the first group of evacuees to be relocated to Tennessee, or the full total?
  3. Of those 415 people, how many are legal permanent residents, how many are special immigrant visa holders, and how many have P-1 or P-2 status? How many will be on parole? And if you are missing this information now, will you commit to providing it when it becomes available?
  4. For those on parole, what screening was done prior to their parole in the United States? What control has not taken place in such cases? How will you ensure that any concerns that arise from such post-release screening can be resolved?
  5. How is it determined whether refugee status or parole in the United States is appropriate for a person who is evacuated from Afghanistan, but for whom interagency verification of biographical or biometric information does not provide additional information or corroborating about the person?
  6. What specific criteria determine whether Afghan nationals without a visa are entitled to refugee status or parole in the United States on humanitarian grounds?
  7. A summary document from Operation Allies Refuge states that: “Those who are not subjected to secondary treatment and who are found to be inadmissible are placed in detention by the ICE pending removal proceedings. Does that mean someone could be released on parole in the United States, not subsequently be allowed secondary treatment, and then be deported from the United States?

We all answer ultimately to the American public, and the public deserves transparency and information about how this resettlement process works so that they can understand and accurately judge its effectiveness. We look forward to a detailed response that answers each of the above questions and look forward to an open dialogue on these issues.

Thank you for your attention.

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