Congressional Delegate Stacey Plaskett was unable to attend the Monday-night State Of The Territory Address because she was scheduled to fly to the Middle East on Tuesday, she said.
The fact-finding mission has Plaskett and a select delegation of congressional representatives — largely from the intelligence and homeland security committees — assessing the processing of Afghan refugees and the conditions of U.S. soldiers assisting them. The concern, she said, was that the American personnel and their NATO partners have adequate resources.
“A high ratio of Virgin Islanders are in the armed service. Because of that — and, I think, my ability to ask very probing questions — I’ve been asked to be part of the group that’s going over there. It will be a very short trip,” Plaskett said. Her questions will be about the care the refugees are receiving as well as the conditions Americans are working in.
There is a chance some of the Afghan refugees could be resettled in the territory, she said.
“When you look at our history, even before World War II, our community reached out and said we would be willing to take Jewish refugees,” Plaskett said. “We are a place where we welcome people of many faiths.”
She declined to say which country the delegation was visiting or the exact duration of the trip.
“It’s an honor to travel with my other members of Congress to do our other duty, which is to ensure that America remains diligent in its responsibilities around the world, to ensure that we engage with diplomatic discussions with other governments, and regimes, and to support our troops, and other individuals who are overseas doing the work of the American people,” Plaskett said.