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A slow process for screening evacuees arriving to the US has meant Afghans are waiting for hours on parked planes

  • 14,000 Afghan evacuees arrived in the US through Dulles International airport as of Friday.
  • Many had to wait for hours on parked planes as they were processed, The Washington Post reported. 
  • Arrivals had to go through background, biometric, and coronavirus screenings before entering the US.

Hundreds of Afghan evacuees that arrived at Dulles International Airport had to wait hours on their parked planes as they were processed for entry, The Washington Post reported. 

The flights from Kabul were being funneled at various layovers before arriving at Dulles and those on board had to go through background, biometric, and coronavirus screenings before being allowed into the country. 

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the process took so long because even though people are vetted before they come, there are multiple screening layers, including some at arrival. 

“I think the important context here is why that is, and that is because our security vetting process is so thorough,” Psaki said.

Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby said there are efforts to improve the conditions.

“But as we understand it this morning they have worked through the difficulties and we believe that wait time now upon landing is going to get much, much shorter,” Kirby said on Friday.

As of Friday morning, 14,000 Afghans arrived at Dulles, the Post reported.  

In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Federal Emergency Management Agency also set up a mass vaccination site near the airport and evacuees have already started getting their shots.

President Joe Biden’s administration has until the end of the month to evacuate Americans and allies out of Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country earlier this month. 

 

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