Out of the seven families from the El Cajon school district that had been stuck in Afghanistan, they were the last to leave after the Taliban seized power. The other six families already made it home in late August.
The father of the family—who must remain anonymous due to the danger to other relatives still in Afghanistan—was home in San Diego County when Kabul fell to the Taliban, according to Issa’s office.
“For months, my staff and I have joined an unprecedented community-wide effort to bring this family and these kids home,” Issa said in a statement. “Today, we can say that they are for certain on their way back to us.
“There are so many people to thank for making this possible,” he said.
The mother and their four children were forced into hiding and moved from several safehouses as they eluded the Taliban for several months.
“I’m so very thankful to Congressman Issa and his staff who did so much to help bring my family home,” the family’s father said in a statement released by Issa’s office. “We cannot wait to all be together again.”
On Aug. 31, the U.S. military officially withdrew from Afghanistan, ending a 20-year war that started shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Issa was first contacted by David Miyashiro, the superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District, in August, and was told several families with schoolchildren were unable to escape Afghanistan.
“From the day David first called me, our lives were changed, and we embarked on a daily mission to rescue these families,” Issa said. “David and the team he brought together has led from the start and tirelessly worked to bring everyone home.”
Issa’s office has helped evacuate more than 40 members of his congressional district from Afghanistan since the Taliban regained power.
“We are very appreciative of Congressman Issa and his staff for their support throughout this process,” said Miyashiro.
Issa said his office continued to work.
“Even as we know these missing schoolchildren are coming home, we are reminded that there are so many more—perhaps several hundred more—from California that are still trapped in Afghanistan,” said Issa.
“Our work is not yet close to complete.”