Singer/Connors/Holzapfel/Thompson/O’Scanlon Call on NJ Homeland Security to Vet Incoming Afghan Refugees
Fri Aug 27 2021 19:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Question Ability of Federal Officials in Kabul to Keep Local Communities Safe
Almost 10,000 Afghan refugees fleeing the turmoil in their homeland will be coming to New Jersey, and Senate Republicans are calling on New Jersey’s Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness to ensure they are thoroughly vetted.
In a letter to the director of New Jersey’s Homeland Security and Preparedness, Sens. Singer, Connors, Holzapfel, Thompson and O’Scanlon emphasized the need to vet and screen refugees coming to the state from Afghanistan. (Wikimedia Commons)
Senators Robert Singer, Chris Connors, Jim Holzapfel, Sam Thompson and Declan O’Scanlon today wrote to NJ Homeland Director Laurie R. Duran emphasizing the need to protect New Jersey residents from possible terrorists who may have circumvented checkpoints and federal screening on the ground in Kabul before boarding flights to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
In the letter the Senators said: “Our nation made a commitment to our Afghan allies who supported U.S. troops while they were serving abroad, but we also have a commitment to maintaining the security of New Jerseyans here at home. You must fully vet all incoming refugees to ensure that potentially dangerous individuals didn’t try to take advantage of the chaos of President Biden’s evacuation from Afghanistan to infiltrate the United States.”
The full text of the letter is below:
The first influx of an anticipated 10,000 Afghan refugees to New Jersey has already arrived, and soon these displaced individuals and families will be assimilating into our communities.
In light of the chaos surrounding the extraction of both American citizens and displaced Afghanis, and in your role as the Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, we are urging your office to mobilize immediately to conduct thorough security vetting of each and every refugee that cycles through the joint base and into New Jersey.
We have all viewed the disturbing scenes on the ground in Kabul. While federal officials are doing their best to screen refugees and conduct background checks, the process is fraught with complications due to the changing dynamics. Even under the best circumstances, no vetting system is flawless. Under the nightmarish conditions at the airport in Kabul, reliable vetting is almost impossible.
Our nation made a commitment to our Afghan allies who supported U.S. troops while they were serving abroad, but we also have a commitment to maintaining the security of New Jerseyans here at home. You must fully vet all incoming refugees to ensure that potentially dangerous individuals didn’t try to take advantage of the chaos of President Biden’s evacuation from Afghanistan to infiltrate the United States.
We are hopeful your office is prepared to complete the diligence required to safeguard our people, families and communities as we welcome new arrivals to our state.
Senator, 30th District
Senator, 9th District
Senator, 10th District
Senator, 12th District
Senator, 13th District