As Republicans continue to criticize President Joe Biden for the chaos during the withdrawal and loose vetting of allies, reports have emerged showing that Steven Miller, who was a top adviser to Donald Trump, had slowed down the process of allowing Afghans who helped the U.S. in Afghanistan to find safety and security in the nation. Former officials say that many more allies could have been processed by the Trump administration.
According to State Department estimates a majority of Afghans, who helped the U.S. in Afghanistan, have been left behind in the country. They might be at the mercy of the Taliban. The process of immigration approval is already difficult according to officials and the Trump administration made the system even more difficult. So, there was a huge backlog of over 17,000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Afghan allies which were passed on to the Biden administration.
According to several sources who spoke to CNN, the Trump administration had deliberately slow walked the entry of all refugees, some of them being Afghan allies who helped the nation in its two decade stay in Afghanistan.
At a meeting in 2018, Stephen Miller reportedly said, “What do you guys want? A bunch of Iraqis and ‘Stans across the country?” to those who put forth an idea of facilitating the entry of Afghans into the U.S.
The SIV program has faced management problems for years before the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. There were low annual caps and cumbersome procedures. The Trump administration made it slower and more difficult for them to get SIVs.
According to former administration officials the Trump administration and specifically Stephen Miller were more responsible than either the Biden or Obama administration for the slow process of allowing Afghan allies into the nation.
Miller had been insistent on more security checks in line with Trump’s policy of “extreme vetting” for those who entered the country.
After the article was published, he told CNN that he disputed the words attributed to him. He said that he had suggested that refugees should be resettled in safe countries in their neighborhood rather than in the nation. However, Afghan refugees do prefer to resettle in the U.S., the nation they provided help to, as seen in the surges outside the Kabul airport and the desperate attempts to cling to aircrafts and more