Twenty-two California students and parents remain trapped in Afghanistan as the clock winds down on the Biden administration’s Aug. 31 military pullout date.
The Los Angeles Times initially reported on Tuesday a total of 24 students and 16 parents stranded.
“Cajon Valley School Board member Jo Alegria said the students were in Afghanistan on summer vacation with their families. She said families of the students who are abroad reached out to the district to ask that it hold their places in their classrooms,” the outlet reported.
“Alegria said the students and families were planning on being home for the school year that began Aug. 17 but were not able to get on their scheduled flights back to the U.S. She said the district was helping get proper documentation for the students to expedite their return home.”
“At least 24 students from El Cajon are stranded in Afghanistan. I’m working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely,” California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa tweeted Thursday.
“I won’t stop until we have answers and action,” he added.
At least 24 students from El Cajon are stranded in Afghanistan. I’m working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely. I won’t stop until we have answers and action.https://t.co/MaXf3yFg29
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) August 25, 2021
“Jonathan Wilcox, a spokesman for Mr. Issa, said in a statement that the congressman is trying to obtain immigration paperwork for his constituents who are stuck in Afghanistan,” The New York Times reported.
“We are in consistent contact with official channels including the State Department and the Pentagon.”
Some members of the group have since returned to the U.S.
“One family consisting of two adults, and five children returned back to the US yesterday afternoon,” Cajon Valley Union School District spokesperson Howard Shen told Fox News on Friday.
“Two additional families are confirmed safely out of Afghanistan. There are additional five families with Cajon Valley students remaining (14 students and 8 parents) to the best of our knowledge.”
On Friday, four of the five remaining families were being processed for return, according to Fox News.
The Biden administration continues to state American military forces will leave Afghanistan by Aug. 31. If so, the time remaining to bring the rest of the California students home is extremely limited.
“Of the 12,500 evacuees, roughly 8,500 of them were on 35 U.S. military flights out of Kabul, which included 29 C-17 planes and six C-130 planes. Another 4,000 people were carried on 54 coalition flights out of Kabul,” the outlet reported.
“White House officials said that since Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of about 105,000 people out of Afghanistan.
“Since the end of July, approximately 110,600 people have been relocated.”
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