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San Diego man concerned for family stuck in Afghanistan

Evacuating Afghans
Posted at 7:16 PM, Aug 29, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — With the Aug. 31 U.S. withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan just days away, Shoaib Sharify said he's concerned his family will be left behind.

Sharify said his father is one of many Afghans who helped the U.S. government but cannot leave the country. Now he fears for his family's safety as his home country falls to Taliban rule.

"When I was a child I have noticed or I have seen with my eyes what they [Taliban] did with people," Sharify said. "We want them [family] to be safe and alive."

Sharify was able to immigrate to the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa program in 2014, but his father was denied the visa twice.

A 2012 letter from the U.S. Embassy stated his father's employment was either funded by a grant or wasn't actually employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government.

Sharify said his father has certified documents that prove otherwise.

"My concern is if the coalition forces leave Afghanistan, he's going to be in the high target of them," he said.

Rep. Darrell Issa has been helping U.S. citizens and high-risk Afghans flee the country since the Taliban took over.

"A number of the people we've taken out have actual death warrants from the Taliban," Issa said.

He said some Afghans who don't have an SIV have been sent to refugee camps.

However, with the recent bombings and threats of more attacks, Issa said getting people out of the country has become increasingly challenging.

"Currently some of the people that we're working with have been ordered to shelter in place and wait for an opportunity to go through one of the gates even though they've literally been to the gates and had to turn around," he said.

Both Issa and Sharify believe the Aug. 31 deadline to complete evacuations in Afghanistan is impractical as there are still Afghan allies aside from Sharify's family who cannot leave before then.