Jim Acosta wonders why the United States is ‘welcoming Afghans’ but ‘returning Haitians.’
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas denied there was a “contradiction” when asked why the U.S. was “welcoming” Afghans, while sending Haitians back.
During an interview on Sunday, CNN’s Jim Acosta noted Mayorkas had recently said at least 50,000 Afghans who aided the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan and those vulnerable to persecution from the Taliban are expected to be resettled in the U.S.
Acosta said the influx of Afghan refugees had raised questions about whether they were being properly vetted, citing Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale’s reaction to learning that 75 of them would be resettled in his state.
Rosendale tweeted last week, “I have advocated that we should try to settle these individuals in other countries around Afghanistan that share their values and culture, especially if we can’t ensure proper vetting.”
When asked about the Republican lawmaker’s remarks, Mayorkas responded that the screening and vetting of refugees is “multi-layered.”
“Agencies from across the federal government are involved, including those in intelligence, law enforcement, and counter-terrorism. This is what we do.”
“The voices that overwhelm his voice are voices of unity and pride in accepting vulnerable Afghans,” Mayorkas said.
“This is who we are as a country,” he continued. We stand up for the people who stood up for us. Individuals who aided us in combat in Afghanistan are being given asylum. We offer safe haven to vulnerable women, journalists, and children.
“This is one of our greatest traditions as a country. We have committed relief to those individuals, and we are delivering it. And we are delivering it while securing the safety of the American public.”
The sentiment prompted Acosta to question why the Biden administration is ramping up deportation flights from Del Rio, Texas, to send Haitians back to a county grappling with a humanitarian crisis compounded by natural disasters and political turmoil.
“We’re welcoming Afghans, but we’re sending Haitians back. Is there a contradiction there? ” Acosta asked.
“Not at all,” Mayorkas replied. “Those two processes are quite different. We are bringing in Afghan nationals by air after they have been screened and vetted. That is a safe, orderly, and humane process.
“That is quite different than irregular migration, illegal entry in between ports of entry in a time of pandemic when. This is a brief summary.