Washington (AP) — As tens of thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban arrive in the United States, a few former Trump administration officials are working to oppose Republicans.
Former officials have written position papers, appeared on conservative television stations, and met with Republicans personally to turn the collapse of Afghanistan into another opportunity to promote a tough immigration agenda.
“This is a collaboration based on mutual beliefs,” said Stephen Miller, among the designers of President Donald Trump’s most conservative immigration policy and those involved in the matter. “My focus was on talking to the House of Representatives to build support for opposition to the Biden administration’s overall refugee program.”
This approach is not accepted by all Republican leaders, and some say it is mean and in conflict with the Christian teachings that are important to the white evangelicals, who play an important role in the party’s foundation. This strategy relied on common tactics during Trump’s tenure, disappointing many voters with racist language, horror, and false allegations.
And hardliners pay little attention to the reality of humans unfolding in Afghanistan, desperate to flee for fear that those who worked with Americans during the war might be killed by the new Taliban regime. I haven’t paid.
But Republicans pushing the issue combine anti-immigrant sentiment that has fostered widespread dissatisfaction with Trump’s political rise and withdrawal from Afghanistan in the cultural war that has fought since President Joe Biden’s election. I am confident that we can open a new front line. It hopes Republican voters can remain motivated towards the middle of next year, when parliamentary rule is at stake.
“From a political point of view, cultural issues are the most important issue that comes to the minds of the American people,” said Trump’s former budget manager and chairman of the American Revitalization Center, a non-profit organization working on construction. One Russell Vought said. Opposition to the settlement of Afghan refugees in the United States, along with other hot-button issues such as critical racial theory that considers American history through a racist lens.
He said his group was working on “a kind of unanimous punch that existed” that Afghan refugees deserved to come to the United States, although the withdrawal was chaotic.
Authorities claim that all Afghanistan heading to the country is subject to extensive screening, including thorough biometric and biometric screening conducted by intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and counterterrorism personnel. .. At two hearings this week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said these “strict security checks” began in transit countries before refugees arrived in the United States and before someone settled in the U.S. military base. Said to continue. The check will then continue while the refugees wait for further processing.
However, Trump and his allies, who worked to rush to block refugee entry during their tenure, claim that refugees pose a threat.
“Who are all the people coming to our country?” Trump asked in a recent statement. “How many terrorists are there?”
The United States faces many challenges and it is unclear whether voters will consider immigration next year a top priority. According to AP’s VoteCast data, this is a major motivation for voters in the 2018 midterm elections, with four in ten Republicans identifying it as the biggest problem facing the country. .. But two years later, only 3% of voters in 2020, including 5% of Republicans, will face it as the biggest problem facing the country in the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic hardship. It became much less noticeable when I mentioned.
Regarding refugees, according to a Washington Post / ABC News survey in late August and early September, 68% of Americans say they support the United States accepting people fleeing Afghanistan after a security review. increase. This includes the majority of Republicans (56%).
Party leaders are far from unity. Dozens of Republicans and their offices have worked tirelessly to help Afghans flee the country. And Senator Thom Tillis, RN.C. like, Warned people in his party Those who have suggested that Afghans pose a security risk.
Some of the skepticism expressed by the rights has so far been that the Biden administration provides an explanation of who was able to leave Afghanistan during the chaotic evacuation campaign of the United States from the airport in Kabul. It was exacerbated by the refusal.
The State Department said more than 23,800 Afghans arrived in the United States between August 17th and 31st. Thousands more remain on US military sites abroad for screening and other processing. However, authorities say they are continuing to compile a breakdown of the number of applicants for special immigrant visa programs designed to assist Afghan interpreters and others who have served alongside Americans. increase. Like journalists and human rights workers, and how many fall into other categories.
The War Time Allies organization estimates that as many as 20,000 special visa applicants remain in the country, with the exception of families and other people who are eligible to come to the United States.
Ken Cuccinelli, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Trump and now a senior researcher at the American Center for Rehabilitation, said he does not believe refugees are facing a full overhaul.
“It’s unattainable as a simple administrative issue,” he said of the process. Kutchinelli, like Miller, believes that SIVs should be allowed to come to the United States, but he argues that other refugees should be resettled in this area near their hometown. There is.
“Massive imports of potentially hundreds of thousands of people who do not share American cultural, political or ideological commonalities pose serious risks to both national security and broader social cohesion,” he said. I wrote recently. Position paper On the website of the group quoting Pew Research Center Polling About the Shariah law and beliefs about suicide bombers.
Other former executives strongly oppose such incendiary language.
“Some of the always-hard-liners of immigrants mistakenly see this as a pre-mid-term opportunity. Former Pentagon spokesman Alyssa, who was also the White House’s communications director under Trump.・ Farah said.
Farah said she has been working to “carefully change Republican sentiment” from what she sees as false and politically suspicious. The Republicans have historically extended their arms to refugees with the majority of veterans, many of whom have worked closely with Afghanistan on the ground and led the impetus to help their former colleagues escape. She said it included evangelical Christians who had welcomed them.
“It’s a complete misunderstanding of the public’s sentiment that Republicans shouldn’t relocate Afghan refugees who served with the United States,” she said.
——— Washington’s Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhat, San Diego’s Julie Watson, and Oklahoma City’s Ellen Nickmeier contributed to this report.
Trump’s aides aim to build Republican opposition to Afghan refugees | National
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