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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Following the Afghanistan evacuation that began in summer 2021, more than 76,000 Afghans came to the U.S. after being vetted, The Wall Street Journal reported.

All evacuees were brought to a military base in Europe or the Middle East, where U.S. officials collected fingerprints and biographical details and ran them through criminal and terrorism-related databases, the Journal reported.

In reviews, the Defense and Homeland Security departments found that not all evacuees were fully vetted.

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, who represents most of northern Wisconsin, said in an Oct. 16, 2023, interview that in the evacuation, “we had nearly 100,000 people come here to America. None of them were vetted.”

Tiffany made the claim in advocating for a bill he introduced Oct. 13 in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The legislation would prohibit anyone with a passport issued by the Palestinian Authority from entering the U.S.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Wall Street Journal: Afghan Refugees in the U.S.: How They’re Vetted, Where They’re Going and How to Help

U.S. Department of Defense: Evaluation of the Screening of Displaced Persons from Afghanistan

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: DHS Encountered Obstacles to Screen, Vet, and Inspect All Evacuees during the Recent Afghanistan Crisis (REDACTED)

YouTube: The Ingraham Angle 10/16/23

U.S. House of Representatives: Tiffany bill

U.S. Congress: H.R.5959

New York Times: Here’s a timeline of Saturday’s attacks and Israel’s retaliation

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for Milwaukee Magazine and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.