As airlift evacuations from the airport in Kabul came to an end late on Monday, at least 32 California students were stranded in Afghanistan on Tuesday night, according to a Daily Mail report.
The report states that 29 students were from the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County, California. Three more were members of another family, from Cajon Valley Union School District, outside of San Diego. Both areas are home to large populations of Afghan refugees.
On Tuesday the San Juan Unified School District told Newsweek that at least 29 students from their area remain in the country. The 29 students come from 19 families, and have not returned to school campuses for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Sacramento school district is home to over 1,400 Afghan refugee students and previously believed that up to 150 students were stranded in Afghanistan, according to an earlier news report from Sacramento Bee.
Families Had Traveled Back to Their Homeland Over the Summer to Visit Loved Ones
El Cajon has a large refugee population, and the families had gone to Afghanistan in May and early June, weeks before the crisis unfolded.
Sixteen parents and more than 24 students, ranging from preschoolers to high schoolers, had traveled from San Diego to Afghanistan over summer break to visit grandparents and other relatives.
'One family with three students was left behind in Afghanistan, and we are exploring strategies to rescue and bring them home,' the school district said on Tuesday.
'The safe return of our Cajon Valley family ... is our focus now.'
School Districts Urged Authorities to Help the Students Get Home
Michael Serban, head of Cajon Valley's Family & Community Engagement (FACE) program for immigrant students and district spokesman Howard Shen said school officials were working with two members of California's U.S. congressional delegation - Representative Darrell Issa and Senator Alex Padilla - to contact the missing families and get them back to the United States, according to Reuters.
Congressman Ami Bera, a Democrat representing Sacramento, told Fox News on Tuesday that his office and the school district are working diligently to bring the students home. However, Bera said President Joe Biden's administration has not yet given an update on how this will happen, according to Newsweek.
Jen Psaki Has No Idea About the California Students Stuck in Afghanistan
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was caught flat-footed during the daily press briefing on August 25 when she was asked about a group of California students who are trapped in Afghanistan.
The reporter asked, "The LA Times has a story saying that a group of students and their parents are in Afghanistan. Do you have any more information on that or is that?--"
"I do not. Who have recently traveled into Afghanistan?" Psaki stated in response, appearing confused about the report, according to Fox News.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government have said that they believe the Taliban will allow U.S. citizens out of the country, despite the military evacuations ending.