Brianna Auffray Profile picture
Aug 19, 2021 42 tweets 19 min read Read on X
I am currently working with 28 people on the ground trying to get to #HamidKarzai airport—1/3 are kids under 12. They are US citizens, legal permanent residents or immediate family members of USCs. The situation on the ground is NOT as it’s being reported:
The Taliban is reporting that they are not stopping foreign nationals from accessing the airport: WRONG.

There are crowds of thousands and, per one of my people: [translated] “There were taliban pushing people away and not letting anyone through, even with a US passport.”
The US Military & Embassy are reporting the airport is fully secure and they’re getting 500-600 people out per hour: MISLEADING.

US Forces have control of one side of the airport, but the civilian side is completely Taliban-controlled and they’re not letting people through.
I am working with a makeshift network of attorneys helping people get out, and all of our groups have tried multiple times over multiple days, and no one has gotten through. So if people are getting out on these flights, I don’t know who they are or how they’re getting there.
The only direction we’ve gotten from the Embassy is “Make your way to [the] Airport. DO NOT go to the civilian terminal…THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT ENSURE SAFE PASSAGE” w/ some vague, out-of-date directions to reach the airport. No map. No updated checkpoints. No contact
These attorneys and myself are compiling and sharing updated guidance & hand-drawn maps, both of which we’re adding to as we hear from our people about what they’ve encountered on the ground.
Two different groups have reported back after recent attempts to reach the airport prior to curfew: “We went to the gate of airport there were a lot of people over ten thousand in front of airport gate there was no chance to get in.”
[translated] “The airport was absolute chaos. We couldn’t get anywhere to show our paperwork to anyone, it was super crowded and chaotic. There were taliban pushing people away and not letting anyone through, even with a US passport.”
Another trusted agency just shared: “The situation changes hourly. We are receiving reports of abuses by all sides, beatings by taliban, tear gas used by the military, etc. It is crowded. The entrance on [redacted here 4 security] is staffed by US military but it is very packed.”
So we have folks who have USC/LPR/IR/SIV status and a place on a repatriation flight, but who can’t get to the airport. Folks waiting for P2 or SIV designation who can’t get cooperation from US agencies. And a whole lot of folks who don’t qualify for any of these statuses at all.
There is no top-down coordination, nowhere close to real-time directions or security updates, and the prevailing feelings of those on the ground and those here helping them are CHAOS and FEAR.
If you are in Afghanistan or have family that are still trying to get out and need assistance, we will do our best to help. Please reach out to @cair_wa at 206.367.4081. We may be able to assist with registering for flights and can share what safety updates we gather.
If you are an #immigrationattorney or are assisting individuals on the ground and want to coordinate for information-sharing and advice, please DM me directly or email me at
If you are looking to help, but don’t know how, I know of some opportunities to volunteer with refugee resettlement in WA state: ,…,
If you are outside WA State or would like to assist by donating, please check back here later today or tomorrow & inshallah we will have a link set up where you can contribute to the cost of these families’ repatriation flights.
Every person requesting evacuation is required to sign a promissory note committing to pay $2000+ PER PERSON to get them to the US, and then they will additionally be responsible for getting to their final destination w/in the US on their own.
These families had to leave at a moment’s notice with only one handbag per person (less than 15kg)—some immigrating to the US for the first time and having to abandon everything. They will need our help.
I will continue to update here, so please continue to follow and share any helpful resources you may have for folks on the ground or ways people can help with resettlement efforts or repatriation assistance here in the US.
Raman Khanna from @RepJayapal : "We have over 80,000 requests from individuals trying to get out right now, and they haven't even received acknowledgment yet. It's such chaos at this point, that there's value to just trying to reach out and see what sticks."
@RepJayapal *NEW SECURITY ALERT FROM @USEmbassyKabul*:

"U.S. government-provided flights are departing Kabul and will continue until the evacuation operation is complete."
@RepJayapal @USEmbassyKabul "USCs, LPRs, & their spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) should consider travelling to Hamid Karzai International Airport [ONLY] when you judge it is safe to do so. The U.S. government cannot ensure safe passage to the airport."
@RepJayapal @USEmbassyKabul "We are processing people at multiple gates. Due to large crowds and security concerns, gates may open or close without notice. Please use your best judgment and attempt to enter the airport at any gate that is open. Be aware of the potential for violence and security threats...
@RepJayapal @USEmbassyKabul "...associated with large crowds. . . Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large crowds. Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to curfew."
@RepJayapal @USEmbassyKabul In response to new guidance from @USEmbassyKabul, Nicky Smith from @RESCUEorg advised:

"Going to the airport right now as a woman is really dangerous. I am recommending that women do NOT go right now. It is not safe. The US government has promised that everyone will get out..."
@RepJayapal @USEmbassyKabul @RESCUEorg "...Shelter in place a little longer. It’s more important that you be safe than first."
@RepJayapal @USEmbassyKabul @RESCUEorg I just spoke to the wife of a 21-year-old trying to get to the airport. His vehicle was shot at as he tried to approach the airport, but he was not hurt, alhamdulillah. It is just after 5am there and the crowds are already beginning to swell as everyone emerges from curfew.
As promised, here's how you can help!
@AfghanHealthAHI is raising money to help resettle Afghan refugee families in WA and assist with the EXORBITANT repatriation fees for Afghan-Americans evacuating from Kabul. Please be generous!
At home, nativist sentiment is already rising in response to the influx of Afghan refugees. Just received report from Ethiopian-Yemeni Muslim man who was threatened with physical violence in Federal Way, WA, and told to "Go back to Kabul!" #hatecrimes #Islamophobia #xenophobia
Two different family members have said they've lost phone contact with their loved ones in Kabul for over two hours now after repeated power outages had previously caused temporary lapses in phone service and internet availability.
*IMPORTANT UPDATE* I now have access to a real-time live map marking the status of all gates at #HamidKarzai airport and 88 Taliban checkpoints in and around Kabul! If you are helping people on the ground DM me for access!
But PLEASE keep your people on #HIGHALERT if they're trying to get to the airport today. Another facilitator in my helpers network just confirmed that one of his guys also had his taxi shot out--that's 2 shootings from our groups in a few hours. The violence is escalating today!
Just got word that Twitter outrage has contributed to a @StateDept decision to scrap the $2000 repatriation fees! Thanks to everyone who voiced their anger over that ridiculous policy choice--Advocacy DOES work! Here's what I need you to demand now:
@StateDept *Coordinate military protection for individuals trying to get to #HamidKarzai airport
*Expand and expedite the processing of P1, P2, and P3 refugees
*Allocate more humanitarian aid money to increase the capacity of the NGOs on the ground to facilitate evacuations
@StateDept *Raise the cap on annual refugee admissions
*Issue guidance to lower the threshold for Afghan Humanitarian Parole petitions, especially from women and girls, journalists, activists, and religious and ethnic minorities
*Approve TPS for Afghans immediately
@StateDept We've been getting tons of requests so we've created this #AfghanistanEvacuation Inquiry Form. If you're looking for help for yourself or others, maps & updates, and/or want to help with our efforts, please complete the form:…
@cair_wa has done an awesome job of collecting all the resources and action items I've mentioned throughout this 🧵in one spot! Please send folks to for:

👉🏽Our #AfghanistanEvacuation Inquiry Form, to request help, maps, & safety updates
👉🏽An Action Alert to tell @POTUS & #Congress What We Need to Protect Afghans and Afghan-Americans
👉🏽Press Release on @cair_wa's Efforts & What We're Hearing From the Ground
👉🏽Volunteer Opportunities for those looking to assist with refugee resettlement efforts
@POTUS @cair_wa Efforts continued today to get our people to #HamidKarzai. I had multiple individuals make it as far as the access point at a US-operated gate, but they were not let in before curfew, so they had to turn back and will have to start over in the morning. Morale is very bleak.
@POTUS @cair_wa I'm INFURIATED, hearing the @WhiteHouse state today that "[they] right now have established contact with the Taliban to allow for the safe passage of people to the airport and that is working at the moment to get Americans and Afghans at risk to the airport.”
@POTUS @cair_wa @WhiteHouse Absolutely NOTHING about this process is working. Then @POTUS dodged blame for *choosing* not to expand the military perimeter--a decision IN HIS POWER--by saying, "There will be judgments made on the ground by the military commanders and I cannot second-guess those judgments."😡
Okay, folks, I've only slept about 3 hours over 3 very heavy days, so I'm going to go offline for a bit to recharge, but I promise I will respond to your DMs when I return. Meanwhile, please visit to request @cair_wa's help, take action, or volunteer:
Per @IRAP 40mins ago, confirmed #USMilitary has closed ALL GATES @#HamidKarzai airport. Not letting anyone else in until they get everyone inside flown out. @USEmbassyKabul ordered others NOT to approach airport due to threats. EVERYONE SHELTER IN PLACE.

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