Kansas Senators demand answers from President Biden regarding Americans left in Afghanistan withdrawal

FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk...
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. More than 30 California children are stuck in Afghanistan after traveling to the country to see their relatives weeks before the Taliban seized power and US forces left, according to school districts where the kids are enrolled.(Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, File)
Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas’s two U.S. Senators have demanded answers from President Joe Biden regarding the American citizens, SIV applicants and green card holders that were left in the Afghanistan withdrawal.

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) say they have joined Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 23 of their colleagues in the Senate to demand information from President Joe Biden about the Americans and allies left behind in Afghanistan, as well as the vetting process for evacuees brought stateside.

“The signatories of this letter may have differing opinions about whether the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, but we all agree that the arbitrary and poorly-planned method by which you withdrew from Afghanistan caused this crisis,” the Senators wrote. “We request thorough, unclassified answers to these questions that can be made available to the general public. Americans need to see that the United States will not abandon them to terrorists abroad forever.”

The letter includes questions such as how many citizens the administration believes are still in Afghanistan, how many green-card holders remain in Afghanistan, how many SIV applicants remain in Afghanistan and how many Afghan residents that were not citizens, green card holders or SIV applicants had no pending immigration application or status with the U.S. before they were airlifted.

On Thursday, Sen. Moran told 13 NEWS that he believes around 1,000 American citizens, including students and former students of Kansas universities, still remain in the now-Taliban-controlled country. He said the biggest concern on getting these Americans out is a list of names allegedly released to the Taliban.

“I would certainly say we had a list because apparently, we gave it to the Taliban to find these people which is also a terrible mistake that we would rely on the Taliban to extricate these people who are they are more likely to kill once they are found,” Moran said.

In August, Sen. Marshall said he sent a letter to President Joe Biden to urge him to safely evacuate these citizens and SIV applicants.

“We urge you to provide transparency regarding how the Administration will safeguard the approximately 1,500 American citizens still remaining in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, SIV applicants, and other at-risk populations,” said the letter. “First, the U.S. military should commit to responding with overwhelming force to continued attacks on or around Hamid Karzai International Airport, any attack on American citizens attempting to evacuate, or any attempt to hold American citizens hostage. Second, the Administration must keep its commitment to our Afghan allies who risked their lives supporting the U.S. or NATO campaigns by evacuating remaining SIV applicants. Lastly, we must ensure the U.S. military is prepared and committed to holding Hamid Karzai International Airport until the mission is complete.”

The Senators said they were joined on the letter by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

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