Members of the Biden administration have repeatedly claimed that only 100 or so Americans left behind in Afghanistan wanted out. Throughout the disorganized hurried withdrawal, Biden and other US officials constantly claimed that only 100 Americans were trying to leave Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized in his Aug. 30 remarks that “there are still a small number of Americans – under 200 and likely closer to 100,” after the chaotic withdrawal.
But in mid-October, the State Department informed congressional staff it is in touch with 363 US citizens in Afghanistan, 176 of whom want to leave.
It has been confirmed that more than 200 US citizens have been evacuated with the help of the US government since August 31. This means that around 400 Americans are still requesting help leaving the country in the nearly two months since the military withdrawal.
Veterans groups rescue Americans left behind
In September veteran-led rescue groups insisted that the Biden administration’s estimates of no more than 200 U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan are way too low. And that the Biden count overlooks hundreds of other people they consider to be equally American: permanent legal residents with green cards.
Some groups say they are in contact with American citizens in Afghanistan who were not able to 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.
As for green card holders, many have lived in the U.S. for years, paid taxes, become part of their communities, and often have children that are U.S. citizens. Yet the administration says it is uncertain of the number of such permanent residents who are in Afghanistan and desperately trying to escape Taliban rule.