Opposition voices to Afghan refugee resettlement in Minnesota are virtually nonexistent

The Pentagon revealed last week that 88,000 of the 100,000 evacuees out of Kabul are "Afghan nationals without an existing credible claim to legal residency."

Afghan refugees fill an American C-17 plane.

It appears all major Minnesota voices addressing the Afghan refugee situation support bringing them into the North Star State, a state that has already admitted significant numbers of refugees and other immigrants from the third world over the past few decades. There are virtually no opposition voices.

An article written by the Star Tribune’s Editorial Board is the latest call demanding that Minnesota accept Afghan refugees, with a dash of shaming “nativist elements in the Republican Party” included as well.

To the latter end, the article mentions “some congressional representatives” and singles out Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin by name, but it curiously does not identify any congressmen or women from Minnesota.

If some of them don’t agree with the Star Tribune’s call for more refugees, they aren’t raising any questions, let alone speaking out about it.

Congressional Republicans from Minnesota have largely been mum on Afghan refugees so far, leading to speculation as to their true positions. Perhaps some refuse to share their position because it would be perceived as “beyond the pale,” or simply because they do not want to appear too liberal to any of their conservative constituents. It is unclear.

Reps. Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn have spoken out against mass refugee resettlement in years past, yet the former seems to support Minnesota’s acceptance of Afghan refugees while the latter has not made any public statements about the issue.

In July Emmer wrote a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to provide details on how thousands of Afghans fleeing their homeland would be efficiently processed and resettled.

“There is bipartisan consensus that we must evacuate these interpreters, translators, and their families to locations that will minimize immediate threats to their safety,” he wrote.

Emmer pointed out that 23,000 refugees are either awaiting “initial action” or are backlogged in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) system.

“I have personally heard from families in my own district who have relatives in this backlog,” he added.

The Pentagon revealed last week that 88,000 of the 100,000 evacuees out of Kabul are “Afghan nationals without an existing credible claim to legal residency in the United States,” reads a report by Big League Politics. And if images from the airport are accurate, many of them appear to be fighting-aged males, not women and children.

Only 7,000 evacuees are SIV holders, the Pentagon added.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.