KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — The Biden Administration is charging U.S. citizens for their flight out of Kabul, a U.S. State Department advisory states.
“Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible to renew their U.S. passports until the loan is repaid. The cost may be $2,000USD or more per person,” states an Overseas Security Advisory Council notice posted on August 14. The OSAC is part of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the U.S. Department of State.
To be fair, the same agency has been warning U.S. citizens to get out of Afghanistan for days prior to the announcement containing the fee amount on repatriation flights. On August 12, the agency was offering “repatriation loans” to citizens in order to book commercial travel that ended very shortly after that message was published, Kabul fell to the Taliban. The notice also contained a warning that, “You should have a plan of action for crisis situations that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.” And, the notice reiterated, you are responsible for paying for your transportation.
Many citizens caught in situations like what happened in Afghanistan may not have access to their banking account, the agency noted. In that case, getting a loan from the Embassy is the only option, the receiver of that loan cannot get their passport renewed until the loan is repaid. The agency referenced U.S. Law, specifically U.S. Code Title 22 Chapter 38, Section 2671.
The U.S. government does not charge migrants arriving here illegally who are claiming asylum. These migrants are flown on chartered jets further into the interior of our country to await an administrative court date that is scheduled many months in the future.
Update 7:40 p.m. — The Washington Examiner asked the State Department about this. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “In these unique circumstances, we have no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.”
Earlier, Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney tweeted that she was drafting legislation to prevent the Biden Administration from charging for flights out of Afghanistan.