September 7, 2021 3:06pm
Updated: September 7, 2021 4:07pm
California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa and some veteran-led rescue groups say the Biden administration count of roughly 200 U.S. citizens still in Afghanistan is an under-estimate and that as many as 1,000 Americans remain in the country.
Issa said he believes the number of citizens still in Afghanistan is closer to 500. That amount includes roughly the number the State Department says made clear they want to leave and additional U.S. citizens who were not counted because they expressed concern about “leaving behind family members to die,” according to the Associated Press.
Issa’s office told the wire service the congressman is working to evacuate an 80-year-old couple who are both U.S. citizens and live in San Diego County, along with two other families from his congressional district.
The administration says 6,000 U.S. citizens made it out, most on U.S. military flights.
The groups suggest the under-counting could be the result of American citizens in Afghanistan who did not register with the U.S. Embassy before it closed and by others not included in previous counts because they expressed misgivings about leaving loved ones behind.
On Aug. 31, U.S. military troops officially departed Afghanistan and all evacuations ended – concluding 20 years of American armed forces in the country and a hasty, chaotic exit as the Taliban took control.
Still, President Biden has promised that evacuation efforts will continue for the 100 to 200 American citizens who want to leave, most of whom he said are dual citizens.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that extends to green card holders and Afghans who supported the U.S. government during the 20-year war, the wire service also reports.