House Republicans have introduced a bill that aims to stop the United States from admitting new Palestinian refugees resulting from the ongoing Gaza crisis.
The bill, known as the ‘Guaranteeing Aggressors Zero Admission Act’ or the GAZA Act, is led by Representatives Tom Tiffany (R-WI) and Andy Ogles (R-TN).
The GAZA Act’s objective is to restrict the Biden administration from issuing visas to individuals holding Palestinian passports.
The bill would also prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from permitting Palestinians to enter the United States under the agency’s parole program, as reported by the New York Post.
“We can’t let President Biden abuse our parole and visa rules to bring unvetted Palestinians into American communities the way he did with thousands of unvetted Afghans,” said Rep. Tom Tiffany in a statement. “I introduced the GAZA Act to protect America’s national security.”
Experts caution that the current Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which is under Hamas control, have the potential to generate over a million new Palestinian refugees.
As reported by The New York Times, based on the 2020 census, over 170,000 individuals in the United States identified with Palestinian heritage. Yet, within the Palestinian community, many argue that this figure is significantly lower than the actual count, as some may identify as Arab.
The highest concentrations of Palestinians in the United States can be found in Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Illinois boasts the largest Palestinian-American population by state, with 17,261 individuals.
This legislation emerges during a period when the United States is grappling with various security concerns, both domestically and internationally. It’s worth noting that some Palestinians celebrated the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and since 2006, the Palestinian territory has been under the governance of Hamas, an organization designated as a terrorist group by the United States.
Leftist legislators, including New York Representative Jamaal Bowman, have already started calling for the United States to welcome refugees from Gaza.
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