The U.S. Department of State was over two months late to California Republican Rep. Mike Garcia’s urgent request to help get a group of allies out of Afghanistan, according to emails exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Garcia’s office initially reached out to the State Department on Aug. 22 and didn’t receive a response until Nov. 2.
The emails concerned five cases of either individuals approved for Special Immigrant Visas or applicants of the program. One of those cases, a family, made it to America without the help of the State Department, according to Garcia’s office.
Garcia’s Communications Director, Molly Jenkins, told the DCNF that most of the other emails their office sent to State Department were manifest lists. Jenkins said that they never expected State to respond to those emails given that they hadn’t heard back from the earlier request “in a timely manner” in addition to the department changing the formats and points of contact.
“The vast majority of the Americans and the Afghan allies that were on those manifest lists that we sent to State are still stranded in Afghanistan,” Jenkins said. “So they didn’t move them, we’re still working on all those people. A few of them got out, but the vast majority are still there.”
Garcia’s office, Jenkins explained, communicated with outside entities through the Signal app to successfully evacuate 108 people from Afghanistan.
“It became pretty evident to us that at that time going through the State Department was not a great use of our time and resources, which is why the over 100 people that our office so far has gotten out has not been through State Department,” Jenkins said. “It’s all been through outside entities.”
She added: “All of this basically just shows that the State Department is giving the illusion that they’re working, which they’re not. Of the 108 people that we’ve gotten out so far to this date it’s not through the State Department and it took 72 days for them to respond.”
The State Department declined to comment.
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