President Biden’s White House is reportedly charging Americans $2,000 to get on board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan.
Those that get to the airport through armed Taliban checkpoints could then get charged upwards of $2,000 from the State Dept. to join the evacuation flights, sources on the ground have told Politico. Non-citizens are also being charged even higher amounts, the outlet said Thursday.
Politico reported that the State Dept. did not deny it was asking for payments from Americans trying to flee the nation after the Taliban’s fast takeover.
“U.S. law requires that evacuation help to private United States citizens be given ‘on a reimbursable basis as much as is practical.’ The crisis is extremely fluid, and we are seeking to overcome roadblocks as they arise,” a State Dept. spokesperson told Politico.
Up to 15,000 Americans are in Afghanistan as of Tuesday, NBC News has said.
State Dept. Spokesman Ned Price told the Daily Caller news outlet after this story went public that the Biden admin. has “no desire of seeking any reimbursement from those leaving Afghanistan,” a comment that seemingly contradicts the U.S. Embassy’s message that clearly said that repatriation flights from Afghanistan are not free.
“Americans who cannot afford a ticket out of Afghanistan may apply for a loan, but if they do not pay it back their passport will not be renewed,” the Afghanistan U.S. Embassy said in a security alert Saturday.
“Repatriation trips are not free of charge, and passengers will have to sign a promissory loan and might not be able to renew their passports until their loan is completely repaid,” the security alert said. “The cost might be $2,000 for each person.”
C-17 aircraft have removed thousands of people from the country this week, but many of these flights were half empty due to the chaos around the Kabul airport, as reported by numerous people.
I've now received messages from four people (including Australians and visa holders) trying to get to Kabul's airport for a planned evacuation flight. All say they can't get into the terminal because of massive crowds. Gunfire is echoing. They fear they won't be able to get out
— Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic) August 19, 2021
“While there were almost 6,000 evacuations many of these flights are departing half empty because of the chaos outside Kabul’s airport,” said Ian Pannell, a reporter inside Afghanistan.
Although the Americans control the airport, just yards away were scenes of chaos. The Taliban fired their weapons in the air and were beating women and children in the crowds. Over a dozen people were reportedly injured in a crush.
— Ian Pannell (@IanPannell) August 19, 2021
Author: Scott Dowdy