However america took them to army bases in Persian Gulf international locations and Europe for scrutiny. At these transit zones, referred to as “lily pads,” groups drawn from Customs and Border Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Nationwide Counterterrorism Middle and intelligence businesses interviewed the Afghans and took their biometric and biographical info.
A whole bunch of analysts and brokers had been dispatched to work on the transit websites, officers mentioned. Others contributed from america, working by means of the weekends and sharing info in safe videoconference calls.
A number of the evacuees had already utilized for particular immigrant visas, whereas others had been newly enrolled for processing after they landed on the abroad bases. The screeners took their fingerprints, images, names, dates of beginning, earlier addresses, and any cellphone or passport numbers, and ran them by means of legislation enforcement, army and intelligence databases.
Some instances that originally raised crimson flags had been cleared inside hours, officers mentioned. They included evacuees whose names had been in a database of identified or suspected terrorists however who turned out to be totally different folks.
Tougher instances are mentioned to have included situations wherein database queries confirmed that somebody utilizing a cellphone quantity related to an evacuee had known as suspicious folks, or that the evacuee had as soon as been denied entry to an American set up. Such database hits might not at all times present context, requiring additional digging and dialogue.
Formally, it’s the Homeland Safety Division that decides whether or not to permit explicit evacuees into america as a result of the authorized authority to grant somebody “humanitarian parole” resides with its secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas. However as a matter of casual apply, the officers mentioned, suggestions have required interagency consensus.
The manager department and its sprawling safety forms wield sweeping energy to resolve whether or not to confess a foreigner into the nation. Below American legislation, noncitizens overseas have little recourse if officers reject them.