A memo to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working on the U.S.-Mexico border asks for volunteers to temporarily work in Poland to assist Ukrainian-Americans, legal U.S. residents, and their immediate families fleeing Russia’s invasion. At first glance, this seems like another ridiculous idea coming from the Biden administration. It probably is but it is following how DHS handled processing Afghan refugees just six months ago.
The memo, obtained by Just the News, asks for Border Patrol agents to leave their assignments on the Southern border and go to Poland and process those who have been able to evacuate Ukraine. The evacuees are being welcomed in Poland. The volunteers are told to expect to be deployed to Poland for about a month to participate in “Operation Ukraine Support.”
“The Office of Field Operations is seeking volunteers to assist with the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate family members from Ukraine,” the memo sent to field operations executives said.
“Eligible employees who volunteer for this situation may be selected to serve a temporary duty assignment in Poland to facilitate travelers for entry into the U.S., to include providing guidance and problems resolution to other government agencies.”
Biden sent troops from the 82nd Airborne Division to Poland last week to work with Polish forces setting up processing centers. Tens of thousands of people, including Americans, are anticipated to flee to Poland from Ukraine. Biden has consistently said that no American troops will fight in Ukraine and the State Department has been clear that it will not rescue Americans trapped in Ukraine as Russian troops invade the country. However, Biden is positioning troops in Poland and other NATO countries around Ukraine where evacuees may go. For example, Polish military facilities are preparing to house evacuees and erecting tents for them.
It is possible that up to 5 million people will evacuate Ukraine, the majority of them heading to Poland, according to the Pentagon. This will be the largest flood of refugees in Europe since about a million Syrian refugees arrived in 2015. That surge of refugees ended up having a profound impact on Europe and European politics.
DHS is telling potential volunteers that if they sign on to go and are selected, they should expect to be deployed to Poland within 2-3 days. A COVID-19 mitigation plan is provided to the volunteers. The volunteers have to be vaccinated or have natural immunity from a recent infection. I wonder if evacuees are asked to provide proof of vaccinations when they show up. Probably not. Perhaps that will be a part of the questioning that CBP will do in the processing of the evacuees. We know that on our Southern border, CBP has not been tasked with consistently screening migrants for COVID-19.
“As a mission necessity and to avoid post-arrival quarantine, volunteers must be able to provide a negative PCR test taken within 24 hours of arrival and meet one of the following conditions: fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccination” or “recovered from COVID-19 within six months prior to arrival.”
“Once deployed employees are expected to perform all assigned duties and may be required to work irregular shifts and schedules, up to seven days per week including holidays and weekends,” the memo cautioned, offering volunteers overtime pay.
So, here we are. Our own border is porous and personnel is overwhelmed trying to handle the steady flow of illegal migrants coming across the border. There is a real need for more, not less, Border Patrol agents in border states, including Texas and Arizona. Apparently instead of hiring more personnel or shifting personnel from other departments temporarily, DHS will just take Border Patrol agents from our Southern border to handle the Ukrainian crisis.
The memo from DHS comes a week after news broke that at least 50 Afghan refugees posing “potentially significant security concerns” were allowed inside America’s borders last year. The Defense Department inspector general reported to Congress last week that “28 of 31 Afghan evacuees with known “derogatory information” can no longer be located.”
“Not being able to locate Afghan evacuees with derogatory information quickly and accurately could pose a security risk to the United States,” the inspector general said. “In addition, the U.S. Government could mistakenly grant ineligible Afghan evacuees with derogatory information” parole into the country.
In a footnote, the inspector general cited the potentially dangerous nature of the 50 refugees posing significant security risks.
“Significant security concerns include individuals whose latent fingerprints have been found on improvised explosive devices and known or suspected terrorists,” the report warned.
This national security breech can be added to the very long list of promises made by Biden and his administration that have proven to be either false or failed to be accomplished. Biden is inclined to make big promises yet typically is unable to follow through with them. He promised aggressive vetting of Afghan refugees and we know now that this was not always carried out.
But the inspector general cited a series of bureaucratic blunders that kept the Pentagon from fully vetting Afghan refugees who made their way into the continental United States (CONUS).
“We found that Afghan evacuees were not vetted by the National Counter‑Terrorism Center (NCTC) using all DoD data prior to arriving in CONUS,” the report said.
“This occurred,” the IG explained, “because Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) enrollments were compared against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) data, which did not initially include all biometric data located in the DoD Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) database and because the DoD’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) has agreements with foreign partners that prohibits the sharing of some ABIS data with U.S. agencies outside of the DoD.”
Let’s hope that blundering bureaucrats more diligently screen and process American citizens in Ukraine and help them in their dire circumstances as they have to rescue themselves. Biden expects American citizens and legal residents to fend for themselves when events on the ground go south. Many blundering bureaucrats should have been fired by now yet we see no such action from Biden. He should start with his Secretary of State and go down the line from there.
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