Rep. Malliotakis helps Brooklyn family return home as Taliban takes over Afghanistan
As crowds of people try to flee Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover, a Brooklyn family got caught in the turmoil. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis was able to help get them out safely.
Heart-wrenching images at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan show families desperately trying to get out their country after the Taliban took over the government. Earlier this week, Rep. Malliotakis got a frantic call from a Gravesend father.
"His wife and three small children still in Afghanistan and they had been there visiting relatives and they're having difficulty evacuating," Malliotakis says.
She quickly contacted the State Department, which got the family on a military flight to Qatar where they are safe.
"Women in particular are targeted by the Taliban and so this was a young mother plus her three small children, ages 7, 3 and 1," she says.
American citizens are being evacuated as fast as possible from the country, but she says it's complicated.
"They can't give us a real estimate of how many Americans are there. Last I heard, about 15,000 American citizens. But you also have our Afghan allies. The interpreters who worked alongside our military men and women. They risked their lives in this war and we need to make sure that we protect them as well."
She urges anyone that knows someone who might be stuck there to contact local congressional leaders.
"We do have a direct connect with the state department and it's another avenue for you to help somebody evacuate," she says.
Malliotakis says the Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold hearings next week.
The family is expected to be reunited on American soil in the coming days.