GOP Rep Repudiates Biden’s Palestine Refugee Plan

( – The Biden administration is discussing plans to allow Palestinians from Gaza to come to the U.S. as refugees if they have family ties to the U.S., an idea that has sparked outcry amongst Republicans. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R – Wis.) said that contrary to Biden’s apparent aims, the U.S. should not admit a single person who has a Palestinian passport as he did not want people in the U.S. who “don’t want to live in a civil society”.

Tiffany is certainly not alone with his concerns. A group of 36 GOP senators, spearheaded by Sen. Joni Ernst, wrote to Pres. Biden and his team outlining several issues with bringing Gazans into the U.S. Most important among those, she wrote, was the fact that more than 70% of Gazans express approval in a recent poll of Hamas’ October 7 mass rape, massacre, and kidnapping of Israelis and foreign nationals working or travelling in Israel. Given this, it would be very difficult to keep out Hamas supporters.

The senators spoke of their lack of faith in the ability of the Biden administration to appropriately vet those applying for refugee status, adding that the White House may end up “inadvertently accept[ing] terrorists” into the program. The senators’ letter pointed out the U.S. officials have very little access to the Gazans who would want to apply for refugee status, which would make the vetting process more difficult.

The senators’ GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives have also taken a stand against such plans, with Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Tom Tiffany already having introduced the GAZA (Guaranteeing Aggressors Zero Admission) Act which seeks to prevent visas or parole being issued to anybody with a passport issued by the Palestinian Authority. Ogles, Tiffany, and Rep. Scott Perry (R – Pa.) have asked the Appropriations Committee to prevent Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from using his position to issue parole to immigrants or refugees from Gaza, as he has previously done for refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Tiffany pointed to the aftermath of the sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as providing reason to be distrustful of Mayorkas and the Biden administration, accusing them of abusing their paroling power to bring in 76,000 people from Afghanistan to the U.S. without having vetted them first.

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