Contact: James Arnold or Mary Collins Atkinson (202) 224-2353
September 8, 2021


Cotton Statement on Afghan Green Cards, Benefits

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) released the following statement on the Biden administration’s proposed short-term funding resolution that would grant green cards and other benefits to Afghans without regard for the normal screening and approval process.

“Joe Biden left behind thousands in Afghanistan who already have American citizenship, green cards, or pending visas, but now he wants to award unlimited green cards to people who didn’t serve alongside our troops and who may even threaten our safety and health—all while exempting them from the normal refugee screening process. This proposal is just another chapter in Biden’s rolling fiasco of an Afghanistan policy.”


  • The Biden administration's unprecedented proposal allows any Afghans who come to the United States over at least the next year to obtain green cards, backdated to the day they entered the country, without completing the normal refugee screening or approval process. 
  • The proposal would give better benefits and less stringent screening to completely unknown Afghans than to our Afghan allies and interpreters. 
  • The proposal specifies that none of these Afghans will be counted against the normal annual refugee caps, despite that each of them would also be able to access all refugee benefits and services. 
  • The only screening required under the proposal is whatever screening Secretary Mayorkas deems sufficient. The proposal also gives Secretary Mayorkas explicit authority to waive any grounds of inadmissibility (including criminal records or ties to terrorism) if he feels it is useful for "humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest."