Pence aide blames Stephen Miller for 'devastating' visa system for Afghans

Pence aide blames Stephen Miller for 'devastating' visa system for Afghans

WASHINGTON – A former aide to former Vice President Mike Pence blamed racist views of a top Trump administration official for the inability of many translators and other allies to get out of Afghanistan before the U.S. withdrew troops.

Olivia Troye tweeted that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, teamed up with “enablers” to undermine anyone trying to get the allies out by “devastating” the special immigrant visa system at the departments of State and Homeland Security.

“Stephen Miller would peddle his racist hysteria about Iraq & Afghanistan,” tweeted Troye. She described Pence as “fully aware” of the problem.

MORE: The 16 Republicans who voted against speeding up Afghan visas

“We all knew the urgency but the resources had been depleted,” tweeted Troye, who was a homeland security, counterterrorism and coronavirus adviser to Pence before leaving the administration in August 2020.

In February 2020, Trump negotiated an agreement with the Taliban to pull U.S. troops out this year.

Miller said in a statement Saturday that “the sole reason that anyone is stranded in Afghanistan is because Joe Biden stranded them there in the single most imbecilic act of strategic incompetence in human history.”

“All the desperate lying liars in the world can’t change that one inescapable fact,” he said.

Miller’s wife, Katie, who was Pence’s communications director, tweeted out a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service showing the number of special immigrant visas for Iraqis and Afghans was higher during the Trump administration than during the last four years of the Obama administration. 

Troye has been outspoken in her criticism of the administration’s handling of the pandemic and other issues. She’s been accused by other Pence aides of being “disgruntled.”

Pence, in a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, said the Biden administration’s “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is a foreign policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis.”

Pence said Biden had no plan to “facilitate the regional resettlement of the thousands of Afghan refugees who will now be seeking asylum in the U.S. with little or no vetting.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price this week said the Biden administration inherited a special immigrant visa system that had chronic shortages in staffing, lacked a coordinating official and had a bureaucratic 14-step process that was enshrined in statute.

At Biden’s direction, Price said, the administration added resources and made enough changes to shave more than a year off the average processing time.

The number of visas issued went from 100 in March to 813 visas per week recently, according to Price.

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