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Congresswomen differ over vetting of 2,000 Afghan refugees at Holloman AFB

ALAMOGORDO, New Mexico - Two of New Mexico's congressional representatives visited Holloman Air Force Base on Tuesday afternoon to observe the living conditions of Afghan refugees.

"There are a lot of little children wearing shirts that had the American flag," said U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, the Republican congresswoman from southern New Mexico's second congressional district.

RELATED STORY: What challenges do Afghan refugees face if they choose leave Ft. Bliss or Holloman AFB?

“One of the most emotional moments for me was seeing the family with a little boy who was about three years old wearing an American flag coming off the plane," said U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, the Democrat who represents New Mexico's first congressional district, which is the Albuquerque metro area.

In separate interviews following their tours, both representatives confirmed that the base is sheltering 2,000 refugees. They also said the base has an ability to shelter 5,000 refugees.

For comparison, Fort Bliss has the capacity to shelter 14,000 Afghans, Herrell said.

She had questions about the vetting process.

“We want to make sure the vetting process is complete," Herrell said. "We know that what we’re talking about in some cases takes several months.”

But Stansbury was satisfied by what she saw.

“People have been scanned, their paperwork has been looked at," Stansbury said. "By the time they’re getting here, they’ve already gone through 3 or 4 major stops.”

White House officials had not previously disclosed how many refugees would be sheltered at Holloman. In a call with reporters last month, senior administration officials also would not say how long the base would be used to shelter refugees.

The U.S. is planning to shelter at least 50,000 Afghan refugees at military bases across the country, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has previously said.

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.



        1. Get rid of leftist Albuquerque and Santa Fe the whole state is red by default. You’re a nitwit. The bottom line is you Democrats suffered a major defeat. You lost!

    1. There is no known evidence that any of these potential terrorists were vetted, therefore vetting did not occur. Isn’t that what you said about voting your convicted felon?

  1. Those that need vetting are bnmp/madmike/K1DPR/Jefallen/original caca etc. they breed hatred evident in American bred terrorists. This white filth need be …..

  2. Labor Day was filled with white chiks related to bnmp and K1DPR asking that big blk dk. They love it since they been around small hands all their lives.

  3. ridgemar, vista del sol, etc been waiting. Whats the hold up? I am actually going to sleep. waiting for the loud whitelocal garbage but all they do is talk. Reason why they are going to the back of the bus. sit boys. ask for permission whitees.

    1. For a while, he had a small gig doing yard work. Back when was still threatening people, he actually came to my door, telling me he used to do yard work for the original owner. He almost peed himself when he saw my agency logo on my shier. I knew it was him because I have seen him before. What he didn’t know was that in a holster in the small of my back was a SIG P-220.

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