Bay Area family stuck in Kabul due to siblings' split immigration status

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- By most accounts, there were some 1,500 Americans in Afghanistan, looking for a way out.

The U.S. government now says that as of Thursday, most of them have flown out, but not all.

Those who remain have difficult, complicated stories. Many of them are stuck in convoluted red tape.

They include a 1-year-old baby girl of Afghan decent, born in the Bay Area, and now stuck in Kabul.

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"This is one case and indicative of so many other U.S. citizens there," said Sara Fain, an attorney with the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area. "It is not that they were on vacation and did not get the memo were going to leave the country. It was that they had to make a difficult decision. Do we leave family members to get to safety?"

She represents the little girl and her family.

The case is complicated because that little girl has a 2-year-old brother, born in Afghanistan

He is the only member of that family without at least green card.

Back in the states, his aunt, named Fatima, worries not only for her loved ones, but about showing her face for in television interviews.

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"Taliban can use Facebook. Taliban can use TikTok," she said.

Fatima says that if identified, the Taliban might retaliate against her family for working with Americans.

They have chosen to remain in Kabul, hoping to come back as a family intact.

"How she going to leave the 2-year-old behind? Explain that to me. There is no way she can leave the body there when the dad is here in the Bay Area."

Tensions have now worsened after deadly explosions outside the airport on Thursday, not far from where the family waited on Tuesday.

Attorneys continue to work for them on this end, but the immigration process usually takes years. This family now has just days, with patience, eroding both there and here.

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We asked Fatima if she feels the U.S. government is doing all it can.

"I don't know. I don't think so. I think they are saying but they are not showing action."

And this is just one small story among 1,500 American citizens, plus their families.

As time passes, there are no easy exits.

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