Covert cover Afghan refugees deported from United States to Kosovo base

Texas News Today

Washington – The United States welcomes thousands of Afghans airlifted from Kabul, but barely discloses small groups remaining overseas. ..

Human rights advocates have expressed concern about Afghans flocking to Kosovo’s Camp Bondsteel over the past six weeks, noting transparency about their situation, reasons for avoiding them and their arrival in the United States. Accepted

“We are obviously concerned,” said Gerena Caesar, a researcher at Amnesty International specializing in the Balkan Peninsula. “What exactly happens to these people, especially those who do not pass security audits? Will they be taken into custody? Can they get legal aid? And what’s a plan for them? Are they in danger of eventually returning to Afghanistan? “

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The Biden administration says it is too early to publicly answer at least some of these questions, as it works hard to rehabilitate Afghanistan that was evacuated after the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August. Growth.

The lack of public information poses a challenge to those closely tracking the fate of refugees. “There isn’t much transparency about how the security check system works,” said Sunil Varghese, policy director for the International Refugee Assistance Project. “I don’t know why people are sent to Kosovo for additional screening, what the additional screening is, and how long it will take.”

Since August 17, more than 66,000 Afghans have arrived in the United States, and have undergone rigorous security reviews to eliminate national security threats from the population, including those serving as US military interpreters. It follows what the government describes as a process. Like his own army.

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About 55,000 of them are at US military bases nationwide and have completed immigration, medical evaluation and quarantine before settling in the United States. According to the Department of Homeland Security, there are still 5,000 evacuees from evacuations at transit points in the Middle East and Europe. This Department of Homeland Security manages an initiative called Operation Ally Welcome.

The reset came after a wave of criticism by President Joe Biden for the desperate withdrawal of US troops and allies as part of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, when President Donald Trump’s administration signed a peace deal with Tullivan. The efforts are closely monitored by the longest war in the United States.

Since then, Trump and other Republicans have criticized the administration for allowing less scrutinized Afghans to enter the country. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas defended the screening, saying the danger was negligible among incoming refugees.

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The exact numbers include new arrivals and other missing documents at the Camp Bond steels in Kosovo, a small country in southeastern Europe that became independent from Serbia with US support in 2008, according to US officials. When a security issue is solved it fluctuates as you leave. ..

The government of Kosovo, a close ally of the United States, has agreed to keep the refugees on its territory for a year. The country hosts another group at a location adjacent to Bond Steel, known as Camp Bechtel. There, Afghans who worked in NATO countries during the war are temporarily living there until they settle in Europe.

For several weeks, about 30 Afghan refugees and about 170 families were at Camp Bond Steel for red flags, according to a US official who discussed the private information on condition of anonymity.

They are in a standoff of sorts because they haven’t been detained, but at the moment they are not always free to leave.

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He voluntarily asked to exit Afghanistan, but was flagged off at a transit point in Europe or the Middle East and told he had to go to Kosovo. Government officials said some have chosen to take their families, while officials have worked with analysts and experts from the FBI, DHS and other agencies to address questions about their identities and past relationships. said.

They are free to move around the base but cannot move under conditions set by the Kosovo government, officials said, adding that they discussed security and diplomatic issues on condition of anonymity.

Government officials said those sent to Bondsteel were those who needed “critical and consideration”, including analysis and interviews, before authorities allowed them to relocate to the United States.

High-ranking government officials say the analysis found it “suitable for future visits to the United States” in some cases, while in other cases “work continues” and remains unresolved. Said without explanation. The breakdown of related numbers.

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No one has sent the United States back to Afghanistan and will determine the fate of those who cannot pass the review process on an “individual” basis. This could mean resettlement to another country in some cases, the official said.

Meanwhile, Bondsteel remains off-limits to outsiders, including lawyers who could represent the United States if they’re not finally allowed to enter the United States, and supporters like Caesar. The situation is inconsistent. “There is no real access to the camp, and no public or independent investigation into what is happening there,” she said.

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Contributed by Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor.

Copyright 2021 AP Communications. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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