Afghan Refugees: How Many? How to Vet?

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 18

By Mark Krikorian, Nayla Rush, and Dan Cadman on August 26, 2021

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With the fall of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul, large numbers of Afghans are fleeing the country. In particular, the United States has sought to evacuate those Afghans who would be in danger of Taliban reprisals for their cooperation with American authorities.

To discuss this urgent issue, this week's episode of Parsing Immigration Policy features two analysts at the Center for Immigration Studies. Dr. Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center, explains the potential size of the flow of people to the United States from Afghanistan and the various programs (like Special Immigrant Visas and the Priority 2 refugee program) that Afghans will use to move here.

This week's other panelist is Dan Cadman, a 30-year veteran of INS and ICE, who addresses the security, fraud, and health issues stemming from a large-scale admission of people from Afghanistan. Cadman specifically casts doubt on the feasibility of meaningful vetting of Afghans before they are relocated to the United States.

Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, moderates the conversation.

Related Reports

How Many Afghans Should We Admit? A look at the numbers

Whom Should We Take from Afghanistan?

Bills to Speed Resettlement of Afghan Allies Cut Corners on National Security, Fraud, and Public Health

Refugee Resettlement Fraud in the Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis; A repeat scenario with Afghan nationals?

Limits on Afghan Refugees Mean Little Given Our Open Southern Border


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Nayla Rush, Senior Researcher at the Center for Immigration Studies

Dan Cadman, Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".