U.S. President Joe Biden, already under fire for the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan, faced brickbats after the state department was caught charging $2,000 each from the Americans being evacuated from Kabul.
Taliban has warned the U.S to withdraw all its troop from the country by August 31, failing which there will be 'consequences'.
On Monday, the White House said that the U.S. has evacuated or helped to get approximately 48,000 people out of Afghanistan since August 14. According to the State Department there are still several thousand Americans believed to be awaiting evacuation.
Why Are Americans Being Charged For Evacuation?
On Thursday, Politico's National Security newsletter reported a person revealed that the State Department staff were seeking large payments, up to $2,000, from American passengers and even more from non-U.S. citizens for evacuation from Kabul.
Speaking to the outlet, a State Department spokesperson, who didn't deny the amount being charged for evacuation, said: "U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided 'on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable.' The situation is extremely fluid, and we are working to overcome obstacles as they arise."
"U.S. lawful permanent residents may submit a repatriation assistance request, and their request will be considered depending on availability. Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible to renew their U.S. passports until the loan is repaid. The cost may be $2,000USD or more per person," said the Advisory.
State Department Rolls Back Decision to Charge Evacuation Cost
Following severe criticism, the State department withdrew its decision to charge those being evacuated. Speaking to The Hill, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that people evacuated from Afghanistan by the U.S. will not be charged the cost of their flight.
"In these unique circumstances, we have no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan," he added.
However, social media users were left fuming after learning about the earlier decision of the State Department.
"Biden will send illegal aliens across the country with COVID-19 for free but wants to charge 2000 for Americans to get a flight out of Kabul? Yeah @potus is a real POS," wrote a user.
"ass clown #lyinjoebiden created this afghan horror he won't let our Military outside the wire, but if any of the Americans he left, get a flight out of kabul, assuming they avoid being murdered, raped, beaten, etc., he is charging them $2000... that is how the F**KING DEMS THINK!" wrote another.