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San Diego business owner makes it out of Afghanistan

Afghanistan evacuation
Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 20:33:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego County business owner and former translator for the Army has made it out from Afghanistan. Congressman Darrell Issa made the announcement Friday.

When the Aug. 31 Afghanistan withdrawal deadline hit, up to 200 American citizens were estimated to be left behind.

San Diegan Prince Wafa was one of them. He and his wife were in Afghanistan as the Taliban took control. In a letter to President Biden, Wafa, a former u.S. Army translator, said he could not get to Hamid Karzai International Airport before it got too dangerous. In the aftermath, he said the State Department purportedly manifested him and his wife on three flights, two of which were canceled and one he never got a call about.

On Friday, Issa released Wafa's letter and announced Wafa and his wife had made it safely out of Afghanistan.

"Today we can celebrate another American family we have helped escape from Afghanistan," Issa said in a statement. "But the celebration can't last too long because we have much work to do and hundreds of Americans to bring home to their loved ones."

Issa, a Republican, also took aim Biden, calling the withdrawal reckless, putting people like Wafa at risk.

In comments made Friday, state department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. Is committed to making flights out of Kabul more routine in order to facilitate more departures of Americans, lawful permanent residents, and others to whom the U.S. has a special commitment.

In August, Dustin Ivers, a San Diego marine veteran, worked his network to help get his former afghan translator, Orlando, out of the country, telling him not to wait for a state department call.

“It's not simple, whatsoever,” Ivers said. "It wasn't simple in the beginning, and it's not simple now. There's a lot of obstacles in the way and the unknowns are there.”

Orlando and his pregnant wife are now safe in Texas.