Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s Claim About Afghan Refugees

In a statement on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump claimed that there is “NO VETTING” of refugees coming to America from Afghanistan. He went on to ask: “How many terrorists will Joe Biden bring to America? We don’t know!”

A State Department spokesperson tells  The Dispatch Fact Check: “We are working with our interagency partners to complete security screening of travelers.” Additionally, travelers whose visas are approved “will also be subject to further screening before potential resettlement in the United States.”

There are two main categories of Afghans the United States is trying to evacuate from Afghanistan: those who worked for the U.S. government or military in Afghanistan and thus qualify for the the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program along with their families, and those who the United States government has identified as particularly vulnerable now that the Taliban has taken control of the country. 

Afghans who do not qualify under the SIV programs can still come to the United States as refugees, with the Biden administration announcing in early August the creation of a new refugee designation for Afghanistan—Priority 2 designation, which The Morning Dispatchreported includes “current and former journalists and non-governmental organization workers.” Priority 2 also gives an opportunity for Afghans who worked for the U.S. government in Afghanistan but did not meet the minimum time requirement for the SIV program.

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