Biden admin moves to bring Palestinian refugees to US

President Donald Trump has vowed to restrict any refugees coming in from Gaza and other hotbeds of terrorism.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
The Biden administration has indicated that they are considering bringing Palestinian refugees from Gaza into the US to give these displaced persons "a permanent safe haven." This would be the first time that the US refugee program, established in 1980, took on the project of Palestinian resettlement in large numbers in the US.

President Donald Trump has vowed to restrict any refugees coming in from Gaza and other hotbeds of terrorism. "We aren’t bringing in anyone from Gaza or Syria or Somalia or Yemen, or Libya, or anywhere else that threatens our security," he said in an October 2023 speech.

In documents obtained by CBS News, several federal agencies under the Biden administration have "discussed the practicality of different options to resettle Palestinians from Gaza who have immediate family members who are American citizens or permanent residents."

There are a number of different ways the administration could go about bringing in Palestinians, who are not particularly welcomed by other Arab or Muslim nations in the region. One way is to bring them in as "refugees" if they can claim Americans as relatives.

They could also claim that they have been persecuted as a result of their nationality, religion, or political views. While some Palestinians could claim that they face persecution from Palestinian terror group Hamas, a faction of which was elected to run the government in 2006, many would likely claim that they face persecution from one of America's most staunch allies, Israel. 

Any plans to allow Palestinians to exit Gaza would have to be coordinated with Egypt, which has kept their border crossing at Rafah substantially closed and has not been welcoming to large numbers of displaced Palestinians.

Once these refugees pass certain screenings for entry into the US, they would fly to the country and be able to undertake the process of attaining permanent residency, something afforded to those designated as refugees.

The US has brought in and resettled 400,000 refugees in the past ten years, but less than 600 of them were Palestinians. A program launched by the Biden administration allows an additional 30,000 illegal immigrants from specific countries entry to the US. 

That program, which uses the CBP One app, has admitted "more than 357,000 people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela" since 2022. "Haitians," the AP reports, "have been far been the biggest group to use the program with 138,000 people from that country arriving, followed by 86,000 Venezuelans, 74,000 Cubans and 58,000 Nicaraguans."

Biden has been keen on taking in more and more refugees since he took office in 2021. "President Biden affirmed the United States’ commitment to welcoming refugees by maintaining the total admissions ceiling in FY 2024 Presidential Determinations on Refugee Admissions (PD 2023-13) at 125,000, the same target President Biden established since FY 2022 and the highest target in several decades," the State Department notes with pride.

"His decision reflects the United States’ long-standing leadership on refugee resettlement in the face of an unprecedented global displacement crisis as record numbers of people around the world have been forced to flee war, persecution, and instability," Biden's government continues.
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