WASHINGTON – Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) on Aug. 20 wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, urging them to provide congressional offices with vital resources to aid Afghan allies and their families as they evacuate Kabul.
Over the course of the evacuation process, sporadic and inaccurate information about gate openings at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) has led Afghan families and allies to closed gates, gates guarded by foreign officials, or gates with different or multiple names. This lack of clarity has been particularly difficult for those with young children and older family members, who have found themselves in dangerous situations of physical unrest and confusion over entry to the airport.
The letter urges the Biden Administration to immediately provide accurate, up-to-date travel and security information to Afghan allies attempting to access HKIA to support safe passage out of the country. Matsui is also advocating for the enforcement of a safe travel corridor beyond the airport to ensure Afghans can safely reach the airport.
The Sacramento region is home to one of the largest Afghan communities in the nation, totaling nearly 12,000 people.