The unidentified evacuee, who was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2011 and deported in 2017, somehow cleared the Biden administration’s vetting process for boarding a U.S.-bound flight from Afghanistan and arrived earlier this month at Washington Dulles International Airport just outside the nation’s capital, The Washington Times reported.
The case echoed that of another recent arrival from Afghanistan, a man named Ghader Heydari, who recently arrived in the U.S. after being deported in 2017 following a rape conviction in Idaho in 2010, according to the Times.
Such cases of evacuees with criminal histories returning to the U.S. are drawing concern from critics of the Biden administration’s handling of the evacuations from Afghanistan, according to the Times.
“A lot of time and effort and taxpayer dollars have gone into removing dangerous individuals from our society,” Jon Feere, director of investigations for the Center for Immigration Studies, told the newspaper. “In one fell swoop, we’re simply going to return them to the U.S. without thinking ahead of the consequences.”
“In one fell swoop, we’re simply going to return them to the U.S. without thinking ahead of the consequences.”
Feere previously served as chief of staff at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the Times.
Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended what he described as the Biden administration’s “multi-layered, multi-agency” vetting process regarding Afghan evacuees.
“We screen and vet individuals before they board planes to travel to the United States and that screening and vetting process is an ongoing one and multi-layered,” Mayorkas said at the National Press Club in Washington.
“We work with law enforcement, counter-terrorist and intelligence communities to achieve that vetting,” he continued. “We do not do it alone in the Department of Homeland Security – once again, we do it with the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center and other departments and agencies across the federal enterprise.”
The arrivals of both felons at the D.C.-area airport were flagged by personnel from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the newspaper noted.
The unidentified robbery convict is now in deportation proceedings, while Heydari was being detained at an ICE facility in Virginia, pending further action, the newspaper reported.
Sheriff Kiernan Donahue in Canyon County, Idaho, told the newspaper that the Idaho rape victim has been alerted about Heydari’s return within the borders of the U.S.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. State Department would not immediately comment about the specific cases, the newspaper reported.
ICE deported more than 200 people from the U.S. to Afghanistan between 2012 and 2020, the report said.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this story.