By Isa Cox October 6, 2021 at 4:16pm
Remember the dozens of California schoolchildren who got stranded in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal in late August?
Well, the Biden administration apparently doesn’t — or, at least, Biden administration officials are likely hoping that you don’t.
There are, in fact, a number of people who remember that Americans remain trapped under Taliban rule — folks like concerned school district officials, writers at the Los Angeles Times, California representatives and, well, you and me, to name a few.
This week, the Times reminded readers that public school students from the San Diego and Sacramento areas are still stuck in Afghanistan. By all appearances, the State Department has hardly done a thing about it.
U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, meanwhile, is working to ensure safe passage for a family stranded in Afghanistan that includes students from the Cajon Valley Union School District.
“We are tracking one remaining El Cajon family unit, and it includes El Cajon schoolchildren,” a spokesman for Issa told the Times in a statement.
“We’ve provided their names, documents and other detailed information to the State Department on numerous occasions [emphasis his] — as well as discussed them with [the State Department] repeatedly.
“Congressman Issa and his team continue to press official channels including State, [Department of Defense], [Department of Homeland Security], and the White House on a daily basis.”
According to the Times, about 38 California students remain in Afghanistan. They are from El Cajon, the San Juan Unified School District and the Sacramento City Unified School District.
“We continue to remain hopeful of their safe return soon,” said Raj Rai, SJUSD’s director of communications.
Do you trust the Biden administration to get these children home?
In a news release, Jorge A. Aguilar, superintendent of SCUSD, said, “We are closely working with our congressional representatives, and appreciate their tireless efforts to help these students and their families.”
“We remain hopeful that our students will soon be able to safely leave Afghanistan, come home to the U.S. and return to school in Sacramento.”
The Biden administration, for its part, would not comment on whether it is aiding the stranded families.
“We have assisted 105 U.S. citizens and 95 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to depart Afghanistan. These are the numbers of people whose individual departures we directly facilitated,” a State Department spokesperson told the Times.
Yet “due to privacy considerations,” the department said it was “unable to comment on specific cases.”
“We are first focusing on U.S. citizens with immediate family members who are ready to depart and have travel documents,” the spokesperson explained. “We will then more intensively focus on the subset of U.S. citizens with immediate family members for whom documentation has been an issue, to find ways to assist them.”
Can you even imagine if American schoolchildren were stranded in a terrorist-controlled Middle Eastern country on Donald Trump’s watch?
It is indeed hard to imagine, because we know that for all the mean tweets, egotism and controversy, Trump would never have pulled out of Afghanistan with his tail between his legs like President Joe Biden did in August.
The entire thing was a disgrace to our nation and to everyone who has fought and died to protect what it stands for.
Throughout the fiasco, the Biden administration was vague about how many Americans might be left behind once troops withdrew — and after they did withdraw, the administration was vague about how many Americans it had abandoned behind enemy lines.
Is it really so difficult to issue a firm statement declaring that the U.S. government will do everything in its power to rescue the children stranded under Taliban rule?