Middle East/North Africa

Dozens of Sacramento students remain in Afghanistan after US pullout, district says

Dozens of San Juan Unified School District students still remain in Afghanistan this week after the United States officially withdrew from the country on Monday, ending a decades-long war.

Officials with the school district located in Sacramento, Calif., told NBC News that almost 30 students were left in Afghanistan after the U.S. evacuations ended.

“We can confirm that we currently have 29 students, from 19 families, in Afghanistan,” Raj Rai, director of communication for the school district, said told the news outlet on Tuesday. “We stand ready to support these students and families in whatever way that we can.”

According to Rai, the school district believed that 32 students were still in the country early on Tuesday but they were later notified that three students were able to return to the U.S.

Sacramento is reportedly home to one of the largest Afghan immigrant populations in the U.S. It was not confirmed at the time whether the students were U.S. citizens, NBC News reported.

The U.S. ended 20 years of military involvement in Afghanistan on Monday following weeks of the Biden administration attempting to evacuate thousands of people seeking asylum from Taliban rule.

The State Department said that despite the Monday deadline, it is continuing to work to help U.S. citizens and Afghan allies evacuate.

The communications director for Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Travis Horne, said his office has remained in contact with San Juan Unified School District and has passed along the stranded students’ information to both the Department of Defense and State Department, according to NBC News.

“We are pushing the DoD and State for an update,” he said.

Last week, another California school district reported that dozens of students and parents were stuck in Afghanistan after taking a summer trip to the country. Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro said at the time that he scheduled a meeting with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to discuss the situation.

Three students from that school district were reportedly unable to make it out of the country, NBC News reported.

It was not clear how many other school districts have students who were unable to leave Afghanistan, the outlet noted.

Tags Afghanistan withdrawal Ami Bera Darrell Issa
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