GOP senators call on Biden to release info on Americans, visa applicants left in Afghanistan

GOP senators call on Biden to release info on Americans, visa applicants left in Afghanistan
© Greg Nash

A group of GOP senators is calling on President BidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for those under 5 could be available by end of year Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles MORE to release information regarding the American citizens, green-card holders and visa applicants who remain in Afghanistan after the U.S. completed its withdrawal effort from the nation earlier this week

The coalition, led by Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonConservatives target Biden pick for New York district court GOP anger with Fauci rises Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (R-Ark.), penned a letter to the president on Thursday requesting “thorough, unclassified” answers to a series of questions regarding personnel who remain in Afghanistan, with the main inquiries revolving around how many U.S. citizens, green-card holders and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants are still in the country.

The U.S. evacuated more than 123,000 civilians from Afghanistan beginning at the end of July, including roughly 6,000 Americans.


There are, however, still between 100 and 200 Americans in the country who want to leave but were not evacuated by the military.

Republican senators are now demanding answers regarding who exactly is still in Afghanistan as the Taliban’s grip on the country tightens.

The group asked that Biden reveal how many U.S. citizens, green-card holders and SIV applicants remain on the ground and how many of them are currently in contact with the State Department.

Additionally, the senators asked the president about the Afghans who were evacuated from the country but did not hold SIV applications.

They specifically want to know how many of those individuals did not have a pending immigration application or status with the U.S., and what criteria the administration used to select those individuals to be pulled from the country “while leaving American citizens, green-card holders and SIV applicants and their families behind.”

The group also slammed Biden in the letter for the troop withdrawal, contending that his decision to end the U.S.'s military presence in the country caused a “humanitarian crisis.”

“We write regarding the humanitarian crisis created by your withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, and the safety and well-being of our fellow countrymen and allies who you left behind,” the senators wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Politico.

“The signatories of this letter may have differing opinions about whether the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, but we all agree that the arbitrary and poorly-planned method by which you withdrew from Afghanistan caused this crisis,” they added.

The GOP letter came one day after Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerGOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on MORE (R-Ill.) penned a letter to the White House asking for details on how many vulnerable Afghans were left behind.

--Updated at 9:41 a.m.