DHS Chief Mayorkas Will Not Commit to Deporting Pro-Hamas Foreign Students from U.S.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a Senate Homeland Secur
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will not commit to revoking visas and deporting those foreign students participating in pro-Hamas rallies on college campuses across the United States.

Since Hamas terrorists carried out attacks on Israel on October 7, rallies and protests in support of the foreign terrorist organization and Palestinians have broken out across U.S. college and university campuses.

Many of those participating in the pro-Hamas rallies are in the U.S. on F-1 student visas, which has prompted a number of Senators to urge DHS to use its statutory authority to revoke their visas and have them quickly deported from the country.

During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked Mayorkas if he would commit to revoking F-1 visas for those pro-Hamas foreign students in the U.S.

Mayorkas, though, said the issue is “a matter of legal interpretation of the statute” and that he is currently “not in a position to provide that legal interpretation.”

The exchange went as follows:

HAWLEY: My question to you is, should students who are here on a visa who gather and chant [from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free] and advocate for the elimination of Israel and attacks on Jewish individuals — whether in the Middle East or here in the United States, which we’re seeing on college campuses — should those students have their visas revoked?

MAYORKAS: Senator, I believe you are referencing a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act about which you have written to me and I am very familiar with your assertion that the statutory provision requires the revocation of their visas.

HAWLEY: Should they have their visas revoked? I’m asking you.

MAYORKAS: We are assessing your legal assertion. It is a matter of legal interpretation of the statute.

HAWLEY: Well, just as a moral matter, should students who are here — foreigners who are here in this country — accessing our university system and advocating for the killing of Jews, should they be allowed to stay here at our leisure?

MAYORKAS: Senator, it is a matter of law and it requires a legal interpretation and I am not in a position to provide that legal interpretation. And let me add something–

HAWLEY: My time is very limited. I think your answer is disappointing.

Biden’s National Security Council (NSC) spokesman, John Kirby, made clear last week that the administration would not, in fact, revoke visas for pro-Hamas foreign students in the U.S., which would make them eligible for deportation by DHS.

“… you don’t have to agree with every sentiment that is expressed in a free country like this to stand by … the idea [of] the First Amendment and the idea of peaceful protest,” Kirby said when asked about GOP calls to revoke visas for pro-Hamas foreign students.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are leading a resolution urging the Biden administration to revoke the visas of foreign nationals in the U.S. who are involved in pro-Hamas demonstrations.

Similarly, Rubio and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) have each written to top Biden officials at the State Department and the DHS pressing them to swiftly revoke visas and deport pro-Hamas foreign students.

In Fiscal Year 2022, alone, the federal government provided green cards and nonimmigrant visas, including F-1 student visas, to foreign nationals from some of the most pro-Hamas countries in the world. For example, more than 8,300 Iranians arrived in the U.S. last year on nonimmigrant visas.

In addition, the federal government gave more than 8,000 green cards to Iranians in Fiscal Year 2022 — including more than 800 who arrived via the Diversity Visa Lottery and more than 520 who arrived as refugees.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.


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