Friday, March 1, 2024

Republicans to Biden: Why Did U.S. Save Afghan Child Bride Traffickers?

'We are deeply concerned that your withdrawal has imported an acute human rights crisis to our country...'

(Headline USA) Senators are demanding answers of the Biden administration after reports that U.S. forces helped evacuate from Afghanistan men who trafficked child brides.

Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling him out.

The Senators say Biden has created a “human rights crisis.”

“We write regarding credible reports that your administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan facilitated the transport and trafficking of child brides and other Afghan girls subject to sexual abuse by Afghan men,” the letter said. “We are deeply concerned that your withdrawal has imported an acute human rights crisis to our country, in part because you and your administration appear to have been wholly unprepared for the scope and nature of the operation.”

This is just the latest in a string of critiques of Biden’s chaotic and withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Senators point to media reports of disturbing sexual abuse of children.

“The Associated Press reported on the basis of internal Department of State documents they obtained that ‘U.S. officials at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin have identified numerous incidents in which Afghan girls have been presented to authorities as the “wives” of much older men.’ Yahoo News subsequently reported on the basis of internal Department of Homeland Security documents they obtained that the dynamic suggested ‘desperate families trying to find ways to get their children out of the country’ who were exploited by Afghan men to coerce marriages and sexually abuse girls,” the letter said. “Some of these Afghan men reportedly exploited the withdrawal process itself – and more specifically their access to the United States – to facilitate their abuse.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed these kinds of reports in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations earlier this month.

“These reports about trafficking and the horrific treatment of Afghan girls are in addition to reports that an Afghan male convicted of rape who had previously been deported was brought back during the evacuation,” the letter said.

“Such failures are why a group of Senators are demanding answers about what steps are being taken to vet individuals evacuated from Afghanistan,” the letter adds. “It is imperative that the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigate whether and to what extent these reported incidents of child trafficking from Afghanistan are occurring and to provide a full public accounting of the United States’ role in evacuating offenders.”

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