Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, is calling on President Biden to cancel visas for foreign nationals who defend or support Hamas amid the terror group’s largest attack on Israel in decades.
More than 3,200 people have been killed in the war since Hamas launched its attack last week, leading to retaliation by Israeli forces. Thousands more were injured and many more were taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered. The US State Department confirmed on Saturday that 29 Americans were among those killed in the violence, while 15 others remained missing.
“America is the most generous nation in the world, but we cannot allow foreign nationals who support terrorist groups like Hamas and march in our streets calling for an intifada to enter or remain in our country ” Rubio wrote in a press release.
After the October 7 attack, many Americans began participating in protests supporting Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, with several of these protests taking place at American colleges and universities. Additionally, the former Hamas political bureau chief last week called on Muslims around the world to take to squares and streets to demonstrate in support of the Palestinians and called on neighboring countries to join the battle against Israel.
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Rubio’s statement said some individuals responsible for organizing and participating in demonstrations in support of Hamas across the United States are in the country on visas.
“The Biden Administration has the authority and obligation under existing law to immediately identify, cancel visas, and expel foreign nationals already in America who have demonstrated support for terrorist groups and, in many cases, even celebrated the slaughter of Israeli babies and the rape of young Jewish girls,” the Republican senator said.
Pro-Palestinian student groups at Harvard University and other institutions have also issued statements endorsing violence against Israel, while many universities themselves have condemned acts of terrorism.
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The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups, made up of approximately 30 Harvard student groups, wrote in a statement shortly after the attack: “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime fully responsible for the entire violence that is taking place. » The statement was later removed after several groups withdrew their names amid backlash and after some CEOs asked the university to release the names of students who had signed the statement.
“In addition to demanding that the Biden administration enforce our existing laws, I will introduce legislation to force them to act,” Rubio said.
Rubio said he would introduce legislation requiring the Biden administration to cancel the visas of foreign nationals who actively support Hamas and legislation to remove federal funding from colleges and universities that allow protests, demonstrations and other activities that can be “reasonably construed” as supporting or espousing terrorism. activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization.
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Hamas was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 by the State Department’s Office of Counterterrorism.
Other Republican lawmakers calling on the United States not to accept refugees from Gaza include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Arizona Representative Andy Biggs.
“I don’t know what Biden is going to do, but we cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees,” DeSantis said during a campaign stop in Iowa. “I won’t do that. If you look at how they behave, they’re not all members of Hamas, but they’re all anti-Semitic. None of them believe in Israel’s right to exist.”