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Not My Party: Reject the Refugee Race Baiters

Getting our people out—including Afghans—is the least we can do.
August 26, 2021
Reject the refugee race baiters

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

Afghan: “They hit me bad. This happened to me when I was crossing. Airport.”

Afghan: “I am afraid that the Taliban will kill me.”

Joe Biden: “I made the decision. The buck stops with me.”

Tim Miller: Biden’s pullout method has been messy. And the situation for Afghan refugees remains dire.

Clarissa Ward: They all worked at American camps. And they can’t get into that airport.

Tim Miller: Many are now stuck sweltering in Qatar in an airport hangar that has been described as a living hell with sh*t and urine everywhere.

And those are the lucky ones. According to the International Rescue Committee, there were 300,000 Afghans who aided the U.S. during the two-decade war. We’ve airlifted, Hey Siri, how many?

Siri: Ninety-thousand people, Tim.

Tim Miller: Thanks, Siri. Those are Americans and Afghans now out of the country, which is quite the feat, but also way short of what’s required.

Remaining Afghans face persecution or even death. Take a look at this text I received that shows the danger: “Hi, I got a call from a girl who was recently married and is being threatened by this Taliban guy that is in love with her. He sent a letter to the husband stating either give his wife or he will be dead.”

Siri: That’s bullshit.

Tim Miller: It is imperative that we get those people who helped us out. And the good news is, for once, this is a sentiment that people of all political stripes agree on. Look at this poll:

Reporter: This is cutting across party lines. Republicans, Democrats, independents all saying the U.S. should help.

Tim Miller: Despite that, there are three reasons why many of the refugees aren’t gonna make it to America, where they belong. Some of the blame for this can be placed on the orange hands of Trump and his fashy hitman, Stephen “Gollum” Miller.

Donald Trump: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

Tim Miller: Trump banned all refugees from coming to America for a while, and then let only a trickle in from Afghanistan, leaving a huge backlog of people who had applied when Biden took over.

But the Biden administration wasn’t doing much better. Through July, we’d only resettled 485 Afghan refugees this year. And while they had started to deal with the visa backlog, it was not nearly enough for the task at hand, adding about 800 new approvals a week.

Part of the reason for Biden’s delay is he was worried about the politics. Approving lots of new refugees risks a public backlash. Plus, there’s this epic douche-canoe of Republican influencers prattling on with racist stereotypes about how we can’t let Afghans in or else they’ll blow up ’em all.

J.D. Vance: Let’s ensure that we’re properly vetting them so that we don’t get a bunch of people who believe they should blow themselves up at a mall because somebody looked at their wife the wrong way.

Tucker Carlson: We will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country in coming months. Probably in your neighborhood. So, first we invade and then we’re invaded.

Tim Miller: Bullsh*t like that has Biden spooked, so he’s been hesitant to pick immigration fights with the right. But this is the wrong fight to step away from. It’s bad policy. And as we know from the polls, it’s bad politics. So nut up, Mr. President, and bring our new neighbors where they belong before it’s too late.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street: It’s already too late.

Tim Miller: Reports indicate Afghans with visas can’t even get through the gate because of the chaos outside Kabul Airport. And the Taliban is cracking down on locals who are trying to get out of Dodge. Guys like this worked with Americans as a translator, but they’re stranded, injured, afraid, and unable to get through the psycho game of Taliban Frogger that’s taking place on the streets of Kabul.

So here’s where we stand. Trump cut a deal with the Taliban saying we’d be out by May. Biden pushed that deadline to August 31—next week. Biden said he’s unwilling to shift the deadline. And if he doesn’t, tens of thousands of people are gonna be left to the mercy of medieval tyrants.

We shouldn’t let that happen. Those people would be great Americans and evacuating them safely is the very least we could do.

For ways you can help Afghan refugees resettling in the U.S., go to thebulwark.com/refugee.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump, communications director for Jeb Bush 2016, and spokesman for the Republican National Committee.