Sen. Howard Marklein’s Statement on Visit to Fort McCoy

MADISON, WI - Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) made the following statement today following a visit to Fort McCoy to receive a briefing on the arrival of Afghanistan refugees:

“Today, I accompanied United States Senator Ron Johnson and several of my Wisconsin legislative colleagues to learn about the Afghan visitors at Fort McCoy.

Many constituents have reached out to me to express concerns about security and the impact of this operation on our local communities. For example, they wonder whether Afghan children will be attending local schools. The answer, right now, is ‘no.’

Our men and women in the military at Fort McCoy are well equipped and ready to fulfill their mission to receive the visitors from Afghanistan even though Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie was not told about this mission until 10 days ago!

Despite the chaos in Afghanistan and the lack of planning for this situation, our military is ready.

The visitors are being provided shelter and medical care before they will be connected with the nationwide resettlement program. Several national non-profit organizations, including many churches and faith-based groups, partner with the federal government to resettle immigrants and refugees all over the country. The American Red Cross is also providing significant on-site care and resources at Fort McCoy, as well.

The United States Department of State is trying to connect the refugees with family, friends and other contacts through the United States, including veterans with whom they connected while still in Afghanistan. I do not foresee many of these visitors remaining in Wisconsin at this time.

However, my colleagues and I shared our concerns about security and appropriate vetting procedures with leadership at Fort McCoy. We must take the time necessary to ensure that we know who has entered our country before we resettle them into our nation. We must be perfect in this endeavor or we may see another terrorist attack on US soil.”