Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., is pushing Congress to shut down all Palestinian immigration to the U.S. with legislation he says is “too harsh and harsh” amid ongoing concerns about screening immigrants for possible ties to terrorism after the Hamas attack in October. against Israel.
Zinke’s Safeguarding Americans from Extremism (SAFE) Act would target any foreign national with a Palestinian Authority (PA) or PA-issued passport or travel document, making them inadmissible to the United States.
Additionally, it would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from issuing green cards and temporary or “nonimmigrant” visas to PA passport holders and revoke visas issued to those covered after Oct. 1.
ICE ARRESTS AFRICAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, WANTED IN SENEGALE FOR TERRORIST ATTACKS, WHO WAS RELEASED INTO US
The measure would prevent DHS from granting Temporary Protected Status, asylum, or refugee status to Palestinian Authority passport holders, and would revoke those statuses for anyone with a passport if granted this fiscal year.
“This bill looks and is a very, very harsh and harsh bill. Absolutely. And I said from the very beginning. I don’t think you will find a tougher bill on the Gaza Strip than this,” he said. . “What drew us to this is that this administration has failed every previous bill or two that has come to this country.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris, R-Md., Aaron Bean, R-Fla., Ralph Norman, RS.C., Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., Clay Higgins, R-La., Ronny Jackson, R -Texas, Bill Posey, R-Fla., Barry Moore, R-Ala., Marjorie Taylor Greene R-Ga., and Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
It’s a step beyond the legislation and calls from other Republicans — including on the campaign trail — where candidates have only called for a ban on refugees from entering the U.S. and also for revoking the visas of Hamas supporters.
GRASSLEY SOUNDS ALARM POTENTIAL DRONE THREAT ON SOUTHERN BORDER Amid HAMAS TERROR CONCERNS
“I think this is the most stringent anti-Gaza anti-Hamas refugee bill and I can tell you that this administration deserves it, because, to date, I have not seen them control anybody,” he said.
There has been renewed scrutiny of the possible link between immigration and terrorism following the Hamas attack on Israel. Republicans have noted increased encounters with people on the terrorist watch list at the southern border.
MALLORCA CONFIRMES OVER 600,000 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AVOIDED LAW ENFORCEMENT AT SOUTHERN BORDER MORE FINANCIAL YEAR
CBS News reported this week that a 20-year-old Jordanian in Texaswho is accused of training with weapons to carry out an attack, traveled to the US on a Palestinian passport at one point.
DHS emphasized that it has “multi-layered border security efforts,” including screening and vetting, and also said that encounters with known or suspected terrorists are unusual.
Recently, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) warned in an internal memo about the possibility of foreign fighters from Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Jihad trying to enter the U.S. — though the agency says it has seen no signs of fighters doing so. they do.
Zinke also cited concerns about vetting the more than 70,000 Afghans brought into the U.S. after the 2021 withdrawal — concerns the administration disputed — and says the assessment of both the Palestinian Authority and the Biden administration is not credible.
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“I say, enough,” he said.
He emphasized, however, that he has nothing against the Palestinians and that it is about the ability to control people.
“I have no hard feelings for the Palestinian people, but where we are is that this government, given the population of what has happened and the horrific acts that have been done, we have to look at this as almost a pandemic and stop it. And this administration, again, has shown that it is incapable of control.”