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According to Sacramento-area school officials, at least 24 local students are trapped in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s militaristic coup.
Sacramento has long been a refugee city, with many international citizens coming in and out while they try to navigate the paperwork needed to bring other overseas family members to America. One out of every nine Afghan natives living in the U.S. resides in the Sacramento region. About 9,700 Afghan people live in Sacramento County, more than any other county in the U.S., according to census data.
The local San Juan Unified School District oversees more than 1,400 Afghan refugees alone, many of whom were using their summer break to visit family abroad. The school district, in concert with local congressman Ami Bera, are trying to piece together the unaccounted-for children and teens like a puzzle.
“We are trying to determine why these students haven’t been at school,” Raj Rai, a spokeswoman with the district, wrote earlier this week. “Anecdotally we have heard that some may be in Afghanistan, but we do not have a concrete number at this point.”
Now, the administrators and government officials think they have the number narrowed down to 24 students who have not returned to school. Getting these children out of Afghanistan and back home will be a mighty challenge, though, now that the U.S. government has effectively cut ties with the perilous nation.
“Our office has been in close contact with the San Juan Unified School District, and have urgently flagged the students’ information with the State Department and Department of Defense. We have not received an update from the State Department or the DOD,” read a statement from Congressman Bera’s communications director Travis Horne.
Say a prayer for these innocent children, who were born into utter dysfunction, managed to escape, and have now been thrust directly back into the fire.