Biden administration plans to expedite Afghan refugee resettlement, NSC official says

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The Biden administration is exploring ways to expedite bringing Afghan refugees to the United States, Fox News has learned. 

Refugees in Qatar could potentially be resettled in the U.S. in as little as 30 days – the process usually takes at least two years, according to Axios. The White announced this week the Amir of Qatar will be visiting on Jan. 31. 

"The Biden Administration has surged resources and forged creative solutions to vet, screen, and process SIV [Special Immigrant Visa] applicants at an unprecedented pace—despite inheriting a broken system from the previous administration that had not even conducted interviews for SIV applicants in over 300 days and a refugee resettlement program that had been systematically dismantled," a National Security Council spokesperson told Fox News. 

A man walks with a child through Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Village in New Mexico where Afghan refugees ware being housed following the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer. 

A man walks with a child through Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Village in New Mexico where Afghan refugees ware being housed following the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)

SOME AFGHAN REFUGEE NONPROFITS CALL ON BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO HELP RESETTLE ABANDONED ALLIES

Former President Trump slowed the refugee resettlement process during his term over security concerns. 

Planes are pictured at Kabul International Airport. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Planes are pictured at Kabul International Airport. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images) (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

The Biden administration has been criticized over its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer that left American allies who helped the U.S. during the war behind as the Taliban took over. The administration has also been questioned over reports that many refugees weren’t thoroughly vetted in addition to being screened before being allowed into the U.S. and the situation has been complicated by Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine.  

Children play with a ball as they walk with a group of media and military service members in an Afghan refugee camp on November 4, 2021 in Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Children play with a ball as they walk with a group of media and military service members in an Afghan refugee camp on November 4, 2021 in Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images) (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

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The administration is exploring a "variety of innovations" to speed up the process "while maintaining the robust health and screening and vetting processes that protect our homeland and American communities," the spokesperson told Fox News. The official promised no screening or vetting would be removed.

Fox News' Patrick Ward and Kelly Chernenkoff contributed to this report. 

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