‘One family remains’: Local, state officials helping East County families trapped in Afghanistan

Local

EL CAJON, Calif. — Seven East County families caught in the chaos trying to exit Afghanistan by way of the Kabul airport before the U.S. withdrawal are now safely out, local officials say, but one family remains trapped there.

“One of our eighth graders, he said it was chaos,” said Dr. David Miyashiro, the superintendent of Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon. “You could see it in his eyes, anxiety and fear.”

Miyashiro has teamed up with Congressman Darrell Issa to evacuate Afghan families.

“One family remains,” Miyashiro said. “We’re hopeful because we know where they are. We have intel based on our family community engagement officers, so we know where they are, we know how to get to them and there are still means to do that. It’s just much more complicated now.”

In the last week, their team has managed to get four families out, which includes seven adults and 14 children. Miyashiro added that one family is currently en route to San Diego, while another is out of Afghanistan at a nearby country and should be in the U.S. soon.

“Three different cell phones talking with people locally that are family members in Afghanistan, that are trapped in Washington D.C., that are providing tactical support and in Afghanistan connected to Darryl Issa’s team that are orchestrating the extractions,” Miyashiro said.

With the time difference, it’s been a 24-hour-a-day mission, but according to Miyashiro, it’s far from over. He says the U.S. government is not telling the truth about how many Americans have been left behind. 

“It’s a conservative estimate to say that 1,000 children U.S. born or children of SIVS (Special Immigrant Visas) and 20,000-plus U.S. citizens and SIVS are still there, trapped,” he said.

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