Skip to main content

Despite Republican Push-Back, Biden Administration Weighs Bringing Palestinian Refugees to US

Share This article

The Biden administration is considering a plan to relocate some of the more than a million Palestinians, who have been displaced in Gaza since the war began between Israel and Hamas, to the United States.

According to the White House, discussions are underway, but no decisions have been made.

One potential roadblock is the practicality of bringing Palestinian refugees to the U.S.

"We are constantly evaluating policy proposals to further support Palestinians who are family members of American citizens and may want to come to the United States. So, we're evaluating it," said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. 

The possibility led to quick rejection from more than two dozen Republican senators calling the plan a national security risk. In a letter to President Biden, they questioned how the administration would properly vet any refugees for terrorist ties or sympathies. 

"Palestinians are taught from a very early age, not, 'Hate Jews,' but 'Hate all infidels.' There's a reason that the Arab countries around Israel do not accept Palestinian refugees on a permanent basis. It's a risky proposition," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R) Wisconsin, on Newsweek. 

"So why add that risk to the enormous risk of clear and present danger that this administration is already subjecting America to with their open border on our Southwest border," he questioned. 

Former State Department advisor Gabriel Noronha, now executive director of Polaris National Security, points out that according to international asylum law, the U.S. should not be on the hook for taking in Palestinian refugees. 

"The United States is not the first country in the region that people can get to. It's pretty much the last country that people can get to. And so they should be looking to go other places and the Biden administration, frankly, should be showing the leadership role here, pressing states in the region, to take in refugees from Gaza who are actually trying to find a safe place to live right now," Noronha told CBN News.

Since the U.S. refugee program began more than 40 years ago, it has not resettled Palestinians in large numbers.

Noronha says, however, that he believes neither past policy nor Republican push-back will prevent the administration from moving forward. 

"Frankly, they've had an immigration policy from day one that is all about doing what they believe is the humanitarian thing and ignoring national security concerns," Noronha said.

According to recent polls, 34 percent of Palestinians in Gaza support Hamas, and the Biden administration acknowledges the terror group has disguised its militants during prior civilian evacuations. 

Share This article

About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT