Rubio, Senate Republicans Demand Answers on Accepting Gaza Refugees into US

Rubio, Senate Republicans Demand Answers on Accepting Gaza Refugees into US

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
|
May 3, 2024

As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, the Biden Administration has considered allowing refugees from the Gaza Strip into the United States. The consideration has brought volatile skepticism from Republicans concerned Hamas operatives will be among those accepted, expressed in a recent letter to the President led by Senate Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), demanding answers on screening and where else the refugees could go instead.

As Sen. Rubio's letter noted, CBS recently reported that immediate family members of Palestinians who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents would be accepted so long as they pass eligibility, medical, and security tests.

"These proposals ignore that Hamas remains in control of large parts of the Gaza Strip, including the border city of Rafah, where as many as 1.4 million Gazans reside today. U.S. and allied officials have very little access to Gazans living in the area, making it nearly impossible to conduct thorough vetting before admitting them into our country," Sen. Rubio said, further driving the point that Gazans voted Hamas into power back in 2006, and Hamas hides among the civilian populace.

Moreover, Fiscal Year 2023 saw the apprehensions of 169 persons on the terror watchlist at the southern border, including an apparent Hezbollah fighter who sought to "make a bomb" and head to New York City.

"Given your administration's abject failure at countering the flow of potential terrorists at our border, how can Congress trust your administration to adequately vet the refugees crossing the Egypt-Gaza border, located nearly 6,000 miles away from Washington, D.C.?" the letter continued.

Furthermore, Sen. Rubio asked why the Biden Administration would accept Gazan refugees when nearby Arab countries, which sympathize with the Palestinian cause, are denying them entry.

As a result, Rubio and the other Senators' letter demanded answers to several questions by May 15th, such as how many refugees the Biden Administration intends to accept, how the screening process will work to ensure no Hamas operatives or sympathizers are among them as the U.S. has no ground presence in Gaza, and if regional partners like Egypt are aware of the plan.

After all, American citizens are still being held hostage by Hamas, and "Our first obligation should be to rescue our own citizens, not Gazans."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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