“The majority” of special immigrant visa applicants were left in Afghanistan due in part to the complications of the evacuation, a State Department offical told reporters in a private briefing.
The official noted that there were many impediments to evacuating everyone who wanted out of Afghanistan, namely threats by ISIS-K, the fortified design of the airport, the Taliban’s “unpredictable” guarding at checkpoints, and viral communications among refugees.
While the administration did well evacuating over 120,000 people, the official argued, “everybody who lived it is haunted” by the evacuees the U.S. could not get out by the Aug. 31 deadline.
Some of those people include Afghan SIV applicants, who all worked alongside the U.S. during the 20-year war. While no estimate for the SIVs left behind is yet available, the official did say “it’s the majority of them, just based on anecdotal information about the populations we were able to support.” / Politico