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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Do refugees at Fort McCoy have documentation?

Posted at 5:38 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 11:03:45-04

Wisconsin once again finds itself at the center of an historic refugee resettlement. PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at a claim about what we know and don't know about the Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy.

An estimated 12,500 Afghan refugees are at Wisconsin's Fort McCoy waiting for permanent housing in the U.S.

Stevens Point state Senator Patrick Testin raised concerns about their status in a two part claim.

"First part is that the vast majority of the refugees coming into Fort McCoy are not the SIVs, which means those who are helping the U.S. government in Afghanistan seeking special visas," said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says there are no exact numbers of refugees seeking Special Immigration Visas or SIVs, but private briefings with lawmakers suggest the claim is accurate.

"While there has been no official breakdown released, what he says generally conforms with what is known about the refugees and we've confirmed through other sources," said Borowski.

Senator Testin also claimed some refugees have "no documentation at all."

PolitiFact Wisconsin says many Afghans arrived at the Kabul airport with no documentation during the chaotic evacuation. While some may lack the proper paper work, they were screened before arriving in the U.S.

"But these refugees are being vetted at multiple stages," said Borowski. "Including such things as biometric scans of their irises, palm prints, their voices, and so forth."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Testin's claim Mostly True.

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