SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Several San Diego-area families who were trapped in Afghanistan during the U.S. withdrawal from the region have made it out of the country, according to Congressman Darrell Issa and the Cajon Valley School District.
Issa, who represents California's 50th Congressional District, said his office received a request for help from a local school district, as well as relatives, after Afghanistan's capital city fell to Taliban forces following the US troop withdrawal from the city.
As of Friday, Issa said six El Cajon-area families trapped in the country have made it out.
"Amidst the heartbreak of yesterday and the chaos that has gripped Afghanistan for weeks, we continue to make extraordinary progress in bringing our people home," Issa said in a release. “It is an honor to help rescue and reunite families and loved ones, but we still have more work to do."
Thursday, the Congressman's office said that two local families had made it out of Afghanistan, and Friday, announced another two families — comprised of three adults and four children — had also been extracted.
Issa's office said the Congressman worked with the State Department, Department of Defense, and White House to get the families out of Afghanistan.
- Nearly two dozen Cajon Valley students stranded in Afghanistan
- Afghan living in San Diego fears for his family's safety in Kabul
- UC San Diego student's loved ones 'hiding in fear' in Kabul
- El Cajon family of 5 makes harrowing escape from Afghanistan
- Afghans fleeing Taliban begin arriving in San Diego County
According to Cajon Valley Union School District, a total of seven families connected to the school district have made it out of Afghanistan, with one family still awaiting help getting out of the country.
The district said it was originally notified that the families couldn't make it back home through its community liaisons after families reached out to ask the district to hold spots in school for their children. The families had plans to head back to the US before the start of the school year after visiting extended family members. However, they were not able to make their scheduled flights after Kabul's airport erupted into chaos as Taliban forces moved into the city.
In a statement Friday, the school district said it is in contact with Issa's office to continue work to get the families out of Afghanistan safely:
"Congressman Issa’s team briefed Cajon Valley staff Friday morning. One family is home in Cajon Valley, two families are confirmed safely out of Afghanistan and en route home, four families secure and in process with one family still awaiting help."