The United States is helping the country of Tajikistan in securing a part of its border with Afghanistan, aiding them in handling security threats in the region since American troops exited Kabul on Monday. This comes despite the U.S. having its own border crisis, with thousands of migrants getting into the country every day.
In a press release on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe revealed that it has started a project of constructing new facilities that would be used for a Border Service detachment found along the Tajik-Afghan-Uzbek Border. This would allow Tajikistan’s border authorities to deploy and respond more quickly to the threats in the area.
In a statement, Ambassador John Pommersheim said that the U.S. and Tajikistan “enjoy strong security cooperation” and that the project serves as one example of the two countries’ shared commitment in securing the country of Tajikistan and its sovereignty, as well as securing the entire Central Asian region.
The project is set to break ground early in 2022. When completed, the facility will serve as housing for Tajikistan’s border officers and their families.
U.S. Contributes to Tajikistan Border Project Amid its Own Border Crisis
The U.S. government has given over $300 million in the form of border-related security assistance to Tajikistan since 2002, the press release added.
This comes even while the U.S. continues to face its own border crisis. Twenty-six Republican senators, headed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), as a group, released a letter on Thursday, demanding for Biden to explain the vetting process for the thousands of Afghan evacuees being admitted into the U.S. since the military’s exit from Afghanistan.
In the letter, they asked Biden to explain the steps his administration made in verifying the identities of the people prior to evacuation. They also asked what he would do to make sure the evacuees are thoroughly vetted and verified before entering America.
On Monday, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) said in an appearance on Fox News that he witnessed a lack in security when he visited Fort McCoy, an army installation found in central Wisconsin that currently houses Afghan refugees in the thousands.
According to the congressman, he was surprised to see that none of the refugees he saw there were applying for a Special Immigrant Visa, which involves a thorough vetting process that may last up to two years.
Tiffany said that all the refugees were on parole. He also noted that the Department of Homeland Security is granted parole authority, so it “can just wave people in.”
Meanwhile, migrants in the hundreds of thousands continue to enter the country every month at the U.S. southern border. Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of Homeland Security revealed in mid-August that border officials encountered 212, 672 migrants in July, which is a 13% increase from the 188,000 encounters in June. To compare, border officials only encountered 40,929 migrants in July 2020.