The Obama administration liked to claim that it engaged in thorough vetting of the Muslim refugees it brought to America. The Biden administration dispensed with the pretense of even bothering.
While vetting isn’t especially effective, it still is manpower resource intensive and time consuming.
The Biden administration had set out to quickly move Afghan refugees through a pipeline from Muslim countries hosting them that didn’t want them to the U.S. And with huge unprecedented numbers of migrants with little in the way of paperwork and a narrow time frame, there was no time for any of that.
How did the Biden admin manage it? They didn’t.
The Biden administration failed to vet the information that tens of thousands of Afghans provided through in-person interviews and relied solely on criminal and terrorist databases to flag bad actors, according to the memo — that is, merely screening, rather than vetting, people brought to the U.S.
While the Afghans were screened against the U.S. databases, criminal background or terrorism affiliations in Afghanistan likely did not come up when cross-checked against the U.S. database because not a significant amount of information was in the system compared to what is known about U.S. residents. Because only those flagged by the system were later vetted, the large majority of the 82,000 were not vetted.
Vetting interviews “were only conducted for evacuees who had derogatory information associated with their biometrics or phone records,” the memo states.
In short, the only ones to be vetted were the Afghans flagged by the database. Everyone else was waved through.