Okla. GOP Continues Anti-Refugee Messaging Ahead Of Afghans' Arrival

Sep 14, 2021

The Oklahoma Republican Party on Tuesday again urged followers to mount a pressure campaign on fellow Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt to oppose the resettlement of Afghan refugees in Oklahoma. 

Chairman John Bennett said in a Facebook video that he does not believe the federal government has properly vetted Afghans fleeing the Taliban who are being brought to the United States, despite the State Department's insistence to the contrary.

Bennett claimed that welcoming Afghan refugees "put[s] our citizens at risk," citing an Eritrean Muslim naturalized U.S. citizen convicted of federal terror-related charges in 2003 and a Tajik man who received anti-terrorism training in the U.S. beginning in 2003 during armed conflicts in Tajikistan who later went on to join the terror group ISIS, despite no assertion either man arrived in the U.S. as refugees.

Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma, the nonprofit responsible for aiding the refugees, say roughly 800 will be arriving in Tulsa in the coming weeks, with an additional thousand arriving in Oklahoma City. 

Stitt has said Oklahoma will welcome the refugees.