While attacking President Joe Biden for the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Fox News hosts and conservative leaders have also started a campaign against settling Afghan refugees in the United States.
Many Afghan people being rescued are those who worked with the U.S. in the war. As a result of their service with the military, they and their families have become targets. The right-wing argument against those being rescued was denounced Friday in a Wall Street Journal editorial board statement saying to abandon them is to neglect conservative values.
In the piece, they cite former aide to former President Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, who told Politico that "most of the translators that we've worked with and most of the government operators we've worked with, who wanted to leave and who meet the conditions for the program, already have left."
There's actually a 20,000-applicant backlog, the editorial explained.
"Political operatives like Mr. Miller speak about these Afghans as if they were freeloaders," the editors wrote. "Yet their greatest advocates are veterans."
"These interpreters risked their lives and their families' lives by aiding the U.S. military," the editorial said, citing Daniel Elkins, a Green Beret and Afghanistan veteran. "If we abandon our side of the commitment now, people in the future will be less willing to work with us." Even right-wing Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz agreed to support the immigrant visas because "there are people over there who have kept my constituents alive."
The editorial also argues that the hostility toward the Afghans is politically dumb.
"How large is the constituency for betraying allies?" the board asks. "Voters know the difference between lawlessness on the southern U.S. border and Afghans who earned the right to emigrate in a lawful program. Conservatives claim to believe in American exceptionalism, and they once took pride in welcoming exiles from authoritarian lands. They still court the votes of Cuban, Venezuelan, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants—all as American as anyone. Afghans who fought with us deserve no less."