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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security denied the landing of a private plane carrying more than 100 Americans and green card holders evacuated from Afghanistan.
Organizers of the flight who have assisted with the departure of Americans stranded in that country claimed the United States is preventing charter flights from landing on U.S. soil.
Bryan Stern, the founder of the nonprofit group Project Dynamo, told Reuters news agency that he spent more than 14 hours at Abu Dhabi airport after arriving from Kabul with 117 people, including 59 children.
According to Reuters, 28 Americans, 83 green card holders and six people on special immigration visas granted to Afghans who worked for the U.S. government during the war were aboard the flight.
“They will not allow a charter on an international flight into a U.S. port of entry,” Stern said. His group is one of several that sprang from military veterans who trained to help evacuate Americans in Afghanistan.
A Democratic administration official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that it usually takes time to verify charter aircraft manifests before authorizing them to land in the United States.
Stern recounted that he had planned to transfer the passengers to a chartered Ethiopian Airlines plane for an onward flight to the United States that Customs had authorized to land at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. However, it is understood customs changed the clearance to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, then denied landing in the country altogether.
Why are there still Americans in Afghanistan?
When the Democratic administration announced it would withdraw American troops it also said it would stay in Afghanistan until it was sure that all Americans and collaborators would be back in the United States. However, that did not happen, making the rescue of thousands of fellow Americans and collaborators an uphill struggle.
In addition to the constant complaints of bureaucracy on the part of the State Department, there is also another reason why not all Americans who wish to leave Afghanistan are able to do so.
“One of the constraints they put on us was that you have to be American citizens, in the last ten days, you had to be an American citizen in order to be allowed to get on a plane and leave Afghanistan and come to the United States,” Republican Representative Mike Garcia explained to El American.
“The challenge with that is that a lot of these American citizens is that after twenty years of having a footprint in Afghanistan, now have families in Afghanistan,” he continued. “They have wives, they have children, even grandchildren. So, the fact that they were unable to open the doors just a little bit more to allow the immediate family of these Americans to come in and go through an SIV process, a normal immigration process, but get them out of the country first. That’s why there are now so many Americans who are still there.”
It is still unclear what will happen to these passengers waiting to reach the United States.
Sabrina Martín Rondon is a Venezuelan journalist. Her source is politics and economics. She is a specialist in corporate communications and is committed to the task of dismantling the supposed benefits of socialism // Sabrina Martín Rondon es periodista venezolana. Su fuente es la política y economía. Es especialista en comunicaciones corporativas y se ha comprometido con la tarea de desmontar las supuestas bondades del socialismo