24 Students, 3-Year-Old California Boy Among Americans Stranded In Afghanistan
If the Biden administration’s estimate of ‘close to 100’ people stranded in Afghanistan is even remotely accurate, around 25% of them are students, along with a three-year-old boy from Sacramento, California.
As the Sacramento Bee reports, San Juan Unified school district staff confirmed that 24 students are stranded in Afghanistan.
“Our office has been in close contact with the San Juan Unified School District, and have urgently flagged the students’ information with the State Department and Department of Defense,” said staffers from Sacramento Congressman Ami Bera’s office, adding “We have not received an update from the State Department or the DOD.”
It’s unclear when more Sacramento-area residents will board flights to return from Kabul. It’s been more than two weeks since Taliban leaders took control of country’s capital.
Evacuation flights ferried tens of thousands of people from Kabul before and after a bombing at the airport killed more than 170 people, including 13 service members. Marine Sgt Nicole Gee of Roseville was among US military service members killed. –Sacramento Bee
According to the report, a number of refugees will be resettled in Sacramento – one of the largest destinations for special visa holders – and home to approximately one out of every nine Afghan natives living in America. Around 9,700 Afghans live in Sacramento County – more than any other in the US, according to census data.
Another stranded child, a 3-year-old Sacramento boy, is “going through a harrowing ordeal right now, unable to escape Afghanistan,” according to ABC7 News, which is not revealing his identity, that of his social worker father, or any other family members who are all US permanent residents, “for fear of them being captured by the Taliban.”
“I received a call Sunday morning at about 6 a.m. from a friend of mine who’s an active duty Marine Corps officer stationed overseas, and he basically felt like his hands were tied and he needed some help getting this family out,” said veteran’s advocate, James Brown, in a statement.
“They’ve also made numerous phone calls to the White House, to the Secretary of Defense’s Office, and to the Secretary of State’s office escalating this family’s case all the way to the top for us,” said Brown, who also contacted Representative Jackie Speier and her staff.
Speier wrote a letter To Whom It May Concern, “I believe it is of particular and urgent concern that these individuals be allowed to pass through the gate and be given safe refuge at Hamid Karzai International Airport … so that they might be available for departure.”
Armed with that letter, the boy, his father and several other family members approached the airport, but the Taliban attacked.
Brown said, “And they were stopped by a Taliban checkpoint, and they received physical beatings at the gate and they were pushed back where they had to flee and return to a safe house.”
The I-Team spent Monday funneling questions through our ABC News colleagues in Washington to officials at the White House and State Department. –ABC7 News
So, if the stranded Americans represent just 10% of everyone who wanted to get out of Afghanistan, it begs the question – why were so many children left behind?