Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Sunday took aim at fellow Republicans who have taken to whipping up panic and fear-mongering over Afghan refugees following the Biden administration’s commitment to providing assistance on evacuation efforts as the Taliban seizes control of Afghanistan.
Appearing on CNN, Kinzinger was asked about the criticism of the Biden administration over his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan from Republicans, which include former President Trump and those who previously served in the Trump administration, despite contributing to the backlog in special immigrant visas for Afghans.
Kinzinger replied that he is heartbroken over “America is being splayed out in the world and embarrassed by the world” before faulting both Republicans and Democrats for the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
“Both parties have failed the American people. And it can’t continue,” Kinzinger said. “And it particularly can’t continue with just pointing fingers while America’s embarrassed in front of the world.”
Kinzinger was then pressed on his response to fellow Republicans who are painting Afghan refugees as invaders, with undertones of racism.
Kinzinger said that the 16 House Republicans who voted against speeding up visas for Afghans trying to flee the Taliban should be asked about the reasons behind their vote, before taking aim at fear-mongering from fellow Republicans.
“But what you see is, in the media echo chamber, this fearmongering, right, this: They’re coming to your neighborhood, these hordes of people that haven’t been vetted,” Kinzinger said. “I mean, that is not American. You can always have questions with how this was executed, but America has always been the country that opens our heart.”
After saying that refugees that come to the U.S. have worked and fought hard for success, Kinzinger went on to torch those who take to fear-mongering about refugees to their political advantage.
“If anybody wants to go out and fear-monger and continue that darkness in your heart and speaking it so you can win an election: A, you are either evil at your heart yourself, or, B, you’re a charlatan who’s only interested in winning reelection and you truly can’t say you care about the health of the American people if you’re out there doing stuff like that,” Kinzinger said.
In the past week, anti-immigrant rhetoric has been pushed on Fox News from Trump loyalists as more Afghans fight to get on flights to leave their home country, hoping to relocate to the U.S. and other countries.
However, some prominent Republicans have vocalized their support of the U.S.’s role in relocating Afghans recently — which include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Watch Kinzinger’s remarks below:
.@RepKinzinger (R-IL) calls Republican "fear-mongering" about Afghan refugees "non-American."
Kinzinger to Republicans who do this: "a) you are either evil at your heart yourself or b) you're charlatan who's only interested in winning an election…" pic.twitter.com/HRhBCcdoOa
— The Recount (@therecount) August 22, 2021