PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The U.S. withdrawal this week from Afghanistan continues to be a lightning rod for controversy and criticism.
In the rush to evacuate, a number of Americans and our allies were left behind.
Congressman Neal Dunn, like many of his congressional colleagues, said he tries to understand what went wrong.
His congressional office has been inundated by constituents’ phone calls, most wanting to know about the U.S. pulling out of Afghanistan.
There is pressure on the Biden administration to evacuate those Americans and the Afghan allies who helped our military during the 20-year war on terrorism.
Dunn sponsored the ALLIES Act earlier the summer, which expedited visas for those Afghan friendlies.
It passed the house in a landslide vote, but it was not enough to get everyone out in time.
“These are people who would very, very legitimately be brought out,” said Representative Dunn. “Not so much Americans as the tier 1 and 2 Afghans who worked with us for years and years and years. These are people who have special immigration visas. And how did they get stuck? Well, their families didn’t get approved.”
Dunn said it is understandable these allies wanted to bring their wives and kids, but he claims bureaucracy bogged down the application process for families.
In some cases, he said the results have been tragic.
“Just yesterday morning I was in my office and we got a real-time message from an Afghan official who had helped us who was on the SIV list but he is stuck with his wife and three children,” Dunn said. “He sent us a picture of his son who had just been killed, who was lying in the street dead shot by the Taliban because he was out looking for food.”
The Taliban said it will allow all foreign nationals to leave Afghanistan.
The U.S and other countries said they will hold Taliban leaders to that promise.