St. Louis community worried about thousands of Americans still evacuating Afghanistan

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Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) await a flight to Kabul Afghanistan, at Al Udeied Air Base, Qatar Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. Marines are assisting the Department of State with a drawdown of designated personnel in Afghanistan. (1st Lt. Mark Andries/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

ST. LOUIS- The St. Louis region has already started to receive refugees who are fleeing Afghanistan ahead of the U.S. military’s full withdrawal, with local leaders hoping that the area will be able to welcome at least 1,000 people.

But there are also thousands of Americans still believed to be there and trying to get out, a defense department spokesman told CNN Tuesday.

FOX2 checked with congressional offices representing the St. Louis region to find out what they’re hearing from constituents with concerns.

“We are currently assisting a few constituents who have reached out to check on friends and teachers/students who are in Afghanistan and also to check on the status of a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for an Afghan interpreter,” a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) said in an email. “Out of a concern for their safety, we cannot share specific information regarding these cases at this time.”

A source confirms U.S. Rep. Mike Bost’s office has received calls from Illinois residents trying to evacuate Afghan interpreters, allies, and their families.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) said they have received a few inquiries from people trying to get someone out of Afghanistan but didn’t have details about the cases.

On Monday night, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth released a statement that read in part:

“Right now, my attention is focused on the evacuation, which includes ensuring our nation leaves absolutely no stone unturned in our efforts to secure the safe return of my constituents, including American hostage Mark Frerichs, as well as all Americans in Afghanistan and on safely evacuating as many of our Afghan partners as possible.”

Frerichs, from Lombard, Ill, was kidnapped in Afghanistan in February 2020.

If you’re trying to help someone leave Afghanistan, you’re urged to contact your congressional representatives in their local or Washington, D.C. offices.

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