- Rep. Scott Perry said this weekend he was against more Afghan refugees coming into the US.
- He claimed an uptick in “poorly-vetted” refugees could lead to “little girls raped and killed in the streets.”
- Perry was one of 16 Republicans who voted against the bipartisan ALLIES act to expedite visas for Afghan refugees.
Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry says he is against more Afghan refugees being allowed to come to the US, claiming that without stringent vetting, “little girls” could be “raped and killed in the streets.”
Perry made this statement on August 29 during an interview with journalist Greta Van Susteren on her show, “Full Court Press.” He was explaining why he was one of the 16 Republicans who voted against the bipartisan Allies Act, a bill meant to expand the number of Afghan refugees the US can accept and expedite their visa process. The bill passed in the House in a 407-16 vote on July 22.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to bring poorly vetted people from an Islamic state to the United States of America,” he said.
Perry said he was against the bill because it would include the families of interpreters, and “every person they knew that maybe did some menial work for American contractors.” He also claimed that Afghan interpreters might “turn” on the Americans they worked with.
“I’m not going to be responsible for seeing our little girls raped and killed in the streets because we wanted to bring people that are poorly vetted into the United States,” Perry said.
However, experts like Alex Nowrasteh, director of immigration studies at the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute think tank, believe there is no good reason to block Afghan refugees. In a post written for the think tank on August 16, Nowrasteh cited statistics showing that in 2017, Afghan immigrants aged 18 to 54 in the US were incarcerated at a rate of 127 per 100,000 people. That same year, US citizens in the same age range were incarcerated at a rate of 1,477 per 100,000 people.
“In other words, native‐born Americans were about 11.6 times as likely to be incarcerated as Afghan immigrants. Afghans don’t pose much of a serious criminal threat in the United States,” Nowrasteh wrote.
As for vetting, The Hill reported that Afghan evacuees were sent to transit centers in third countries like Germany to undergo security checks before being allowed to enter the US. President Joe Biden also asserted on August 22 that all Afghan refugees will face a thorough vetting process.
Other conservative figures are also objecting to Afghan refugees settling in the US
Scott’s comments come at a time when some conservative figures are objecting to the idea of more Afghan refugees — including US allies holding Special Immigrant Visas — coming to America and re-settling in communities.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told local news outlet Dakota News Now that she does not want Afghan refugees coming to the US “unless we know they are an ally and a friend, and that they don’t want to destroy this country.”
“This is a dangerous part of the world, we know we have a lot of dangerous people who are there that want to do the United States harm,” Noem said on August 18.
Separately, a spokesman for Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon told Wyoming news outlet Cowboy State Daily on August 19 that Gordon “has no interest” in accepting Afghan refugees.
These governors’ sentiments were echoed by former President Donald Trump, who claimed Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation could be bringing “terrorists” to America.
“You can be sure the Taliban, who are now in complete control, didn’t allow the best and brightest to board these evacuation flights. Instead, we can only imagine how many thousands of terrorists have been airlifted out of Afghanistan and into neighborhoods around the world,” Trump said in a statement on August 24.