State Sen Patrick Testin

Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point. 

(The Center Square) – The Wisconsin state senator who represents the towns around Fort McCoy has issued the strongest objection yet to the still murky plan to bring thousands of Afghan refugees to central Wisconsin.

Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, on Friday sent a strongly worded letter to Gov. Evers asking for answers about who the refugees are and where they will go once they arrive.

“There is no clear plan for background checks. There is no clear vetting plan. The plan for issuing visas appears to be dependent on using ‘volunteers’ – a proposal that raises strong concerns since prior to the pullout, qualified staff have been denying 80% of Afghani visa applications. There is no clear plan for health screenings. There is no clear plan for potentially necessary quarantines or vaccinations,” Testin wrote.

He said the Biden Administration has not provided any answers about the refugees. Now, he’s asking the Evers Administration.

“The people of Wisconsin are generous. We feel deep sympathy for those allies that our President abandoned and who now seek refuge. We honor the memory of the soldiers who gave their lives in an abandoned attempt to bring freedom and democracy to the Afghan people, while protecting our own,” Testin added. “We do not, however, trust that the President, or your administration, are taking even minimal steps to assure that the 30,000 Afghans to be moved to Wisconsin and Texas will be properly identified or screened, or that proper background or health checks will be completed.”

Gov. Evers said the number of refugees headed to Fort McCoy is anywhere between “a few hundred” and “two thousand.”

In addition to questions about vetting and background checks, Testin asked Gov. Evers some Wisconsin-specific questions about what happens when the refugees arrive”

  • Refugees are eligible for Medical Assistance, BadgerCare, W2, and cash assistance.  Has your administration calculated the added cost to Wisconsin taxpayers of 10-20,000 individuals who will doubtless be enrolled in these programs?
  • If you plan to accept a population roughly equivalent to that of Marshfield, all of whom will be dependent on government assistance programs, have you asked for full federal reimbursement of all these costs that will otherwise be borne by Wisconsin taxpayers?  If not, where do you propose diverting funds from to finance this expense?
  • What plans has your administration made for the increased demands such a large influx of people presents to rural Wisconsin, including health care, law enforcement, education, and housing?
  • What are your plans for transparency with this massive undertaking?  When can we expect to see a dashboard so we may track the numbers, visas, health statistics, costs, problems and in particular the ejection of any refugees found to have terrorist ties?

Testin said the people of Wisconsin deserve the answers to the questions.