Tiffany, Biggs Send Letter to President Biden Amid New Charges Against Afghan Refugees at Fort McCoy

September 24, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) and Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05) sent a letter to President Biden requesting information on the number and whereabouts of evacuees amid new charges of sex crimes and spousal abuse against two Afghan refugees.

"A month after evacuations from Afghanistan began, information on the evacuees and vetting process remains unclear. Given the new reports of these heinous attacks at Fort McCoy, President Biden must be held accountable. When you bring tens of thousands of refugees into America now and ask questions later, bad things are bound to happen,” said Tiffany.

Read the full letter here or below:

Mr. President,

Two Afghan evacuees at Fort McCoy have now been charged with multiple sex crimes against a minor and spousal abuse. For weeks, we have warned administration officials that rushed vetting procedures – and your dangerous policy of admitting thousands of Afghans to the United States first and asking questions later – would lead to such outcomes.

In addition to the incidents at Fort McCoy, an Afghan convicted of felony robbery charges and a convicted Afghan rapist were able to board U.S. evacuation flights from Kabul, making it to Dulles airport before they were detected despite both being previously deported from the United States.

While this is disappointing, it is hardly surprising. Vetting procedures that normally take months or even years are now being hastily conducted in just days or hours. One Customs and Border Protection official bluntly described the White House approach as “get as many people on the plane as you can, and we’ll sort out the (immigration visa) stuff later.” The same official added that “people have landed with no documents whatsoever, creating a very challenging work environment for the officers.”

While these attacks at Fort McCoy are extremely disturbing, they also raise troubling questions about the possibility of similar crimes occurring at other U.S. facilities housing Afghan migrants. Several news reports have revealed incidents of Afghan men arriving with child brides or as part of “polygamous families.” One report cited multiple instances of underage brides being trafficked to U.S. bases.  And these are not isolated incidents. In fact, the problem is so widespread that overwhelmed U.S. diplomats reportedly sent a cable seeking “urgent guidance” on how to handle these cases – and it is easy to understand why. The United Nations recently estimated that nearly six in ten Afghan girls are married before the age of 19, with nearly half of them being forced into such unions between the ages of just 10 and 13.

Even more alarming, we have seen reports of Afghan women and girls being raped and forced to marry older men to get out of the country – suggesting many of these predators were airlifted out of Afghanistan on U.S. flights with their victims in tow.

A month after these evacuations began, it remains unclear exactly how, where, and when evacuees are being vetted. One administration official told a news outlet in August that all screening takes place in third countries like Qatar and Kuwait, but a Pentagon spokesman contradicted that claim the same day, saying processing was taking place in the United States. Even now, the administration has not been forthcoming or consistent in their explanations despite multiple inquiries by Members of Congress.

The American people deserve to know what is happening, including a full accounting of criminal complaints involving Afghans housed at U.S. bases since evacuees began arriving in the U.S. last month. Given that thousands of Afghan parolees are reportedly free to leave when they choose, the public also deserves to know exactly how many Afghans without Special Immigrant Visas have already walked out of these facilities and disappeared into American communities.

Please provide the following information by Friday, October 1, 2021.

1.     The number of evacuees from Afghanistan currently in the United States.
2.     The number of evacuees currently being housed on U.S. military bases.
3.     A list of all bases housing evacuees and the number of evacuees at each base.
4.     The number of evacuees that have been released from U.S. military bases into the interior of the United States.
5.     The number of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients evacuated from Afghanistan.
6.     The number of Afghan SIV applicants evacuated from Afghanistan.
7.     The total number of Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan.
8.     The number of criminal complaints reported or filed involving Afghan evacuees at U.S. military bases since the evacuation began.

We look forward to receiving the requested information.

Congressman Tom Tiffany and Congressman Andy Biggs