On his Monday evening show, Tucker Carlson went so far as to compare Afghan refugees, who aided U.S. military troops and now face grave risk from the Taliban, to an invading force.
“If history is any guide, and it’s always a guide, we will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country, and over the next decade, that number may swell to the millions,” Carlson said. “So first we invade, and then we are invaded.”
The Biden administration has committed to housing 2,500 refugees fleeing Afghanistan at a military base in Fort Lee, Va. Those people have already cleared the State Department’s screening for special immigrant visas; many of them worked as interpreters for U.S. troops, The Washington Post reported.
Another 4,000 people who have been partially screened will be evacuated and housed in other countries until they can be fully vetted.
The move follows the Trump administration in 2020 capping refugee admissions to just 15,000 — the lowest level in decades. On the campaign trail that same year, Trump depicted refugees as a threat and burden, The Post reported.
Carlson claimed Monday night that the Biden administration’s “official position is that American lives are not more valuable than the lives of foreigners” and conflated the acceptance of Afghan war refugees to the influx of immigrants across the southern border with Mexico.
During his broadcast, Carlson specifically attacked Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has been vocally pushing for the expansion of asylum for Afghan citizens who assisted the U.S. military over the past two decades.
“America must not stand idly by as our Afghan friends are brutalized by the Taliban,” Romney said in a tweet. “For honor, for meaning of lives lost, and for simple humanity, the President must urgently rush to defend, rescue, and give and expand asylum. There is no time to spare.”
Carlson displayed the tweet on his show and mocked Romney for saying there is “no time to spare” to protect the refugees.
“ ‘Bring in the refugees tonight!’ they’re screaming,” Carlson said, referring to politicians like Romney who are advocating for those trapped in Afghanistan. “That’s the only lesson they’re taking from this debacle.”
Similarly, Fox News host Laura Ingraham called the withdrawal a “catastrophic failure” and questioned whether it was necessary for the United States to follow through on promises made to Afghans eligible for refugee status in America.
“Is it really our responsibility to welcome thousands of potentially unvetted refugees from Afghanistan?” she said on her Monday show. “All day, we’ve heard phrases like, ‘We’ve promised them.’ Well, who did? Did you?”
Despite the rhetoric on refugees that has proliferated in conservative media, many Republican leaders are pushing for the Biden administration to remove roadblocks that could slow the evacuation of Afghan people who may be killed by the Taliban.
Among them, former president George W. Bush said in a statement on Monday that the Afghans “at the greatest risk are the same ones who have been on the forefront of progress inside their nation.”
“The United States government has the legal authority to cut the red tape for refugees during urgent humanitarian crises,” Bush continued. “And we have the responsibility and the resources to secure safe passage for them now, without bureaucratic delay.”