President Joe Biden’s State Department is refusing to commit to revoking visas for those foreign nationals in the United States who are espousing support for Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization.
Last month, as Breitbart News reported, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting the agency use existing federal immigration law to revoke visas of foreign nationals in the U.S. participating in pro-Hamas rallies.
“Per 8 U.S.C. 1182, an alien is inadmissible into the United States should they represent ‘a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity,'” Rubio wrote:
Hamas’ designation as a [foreign terrorist organization] makes this a clear directive to institute a thorough review of all visa holders and applicants. This should include coordination with law enforcement, both federal and state/local, as well as universities. [Emphasis added]
In response, State Department officials wrote to Rubio that the agency does, in fact, have “broad authority” over revoking visas but failed to commit to actually doing so.
“The Department of State also has broad authority under the [Immigration and Nationality Act] to revoke visas,” State Department officials wrote to Rubio:
We exercise that authority when there is information or evidence indicating a visa holder may be ineligible for a U.S. visa. When we receive derogatory information that indicates potential visa ineligibility, we take immediate actions, such as entering the information U.S. government databases and revoking visas if deemed appropriate. [Emphasis added]
State Department confirms they have the power to revoke the visas of Hamas supporters and deport them. Now they need to do it. pic.twitter.com/vCXyKufhad
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 16, 2023
Previously, National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby said the Biden administration would not revoke visas for pro-Hamas foreign nationals in the U.S.
“I would just tell you that 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. I’ll leave it at that,” Kirby said when asked about calls from Republicans for Biden to take such action.
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 government gave more than 8,000 green cards to Iranians in Fiscal Year 2022 — including more than 800 who arrived on the Diversity Visa Lottery and more than 520 who arrived as refugees.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.