Democrats Circulate Letter Urging Biden to Let Palestinians Stay in the U.S.

Democrats Circulate Letter Urging Biden to Let Palestinians Stay in the U.S.

November 8, 2023

Top congressional Democrats are reportedly circulating a letter to President Biden encouraging him to “designate the Palestinian territories for Temporary Protected Status,” thus allowing “foreign nationals” from those areas to stay in the U.S.

The draft letter is reportedly backed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)  and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

“We urge your Administration to designate the Palestinian territories for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and/or authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians present in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote:

As you know, TPS and DED offer temporary relief from removal and work authorization for eligible foreign nationals who are unable to return safely to their home countries or part of a country. In light of ongoing armed conflict, Palestinians already in the United States should not be forced to return to the Palestinian territories, consistent with President Biden’s stated commitment to protecting Palestinian civilians.

The letter demonized Israel by citing numbers from anti-Semitic organizations on how many Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. It did not ask for the same protections for Israeli nationals and made no mention of the hundreds of thousands of Israelis that have been displaced from their homes as a result of terrorist attacks on Israel’s northern and southern borders.

“U.S. Department of State statistics indicate that 7,241 nonimmigrant visas were issued to individuals holding Palestinian Authority (PA) travel documents in 2022, the most recent year for which such data is available,” the letter continued:

While the number of non-immigrant visas issued cannot provide an exact approximation of the number of Palestinians that would be eligible for TPS or DED, it makes clear that the number of beneficiaries would be small, while the benefit could be lifesaving. TPS or DED would enable Palestinians currently present in the U.S., including students, tourists, and workers, to be protected from a dangerous return to their homeland while affording them the ability to remain safely in the U.S. and to work legally to support themselves and their families.

As such, we urge your Administration to designate the Palestinian territories for TPS and/or to authorize DED for Palestinians in the United States without delay. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

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