Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, is asking President Biden to rescind 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 retaliatory action from Israeli forces. Thousands more have been wounded, and many others have been taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered. The U.S. State Department confirmed Saturday that 29 Americans were among those killed in the violence while 15 remain unaccounted for.
“America is the most generous nation on earth, but we cannot allow foreign nationals who support terrorist groups like Hamas and march in our streets calling for ‘intifada’ to enter or stay in our country,” Rubio wrote in a press release.
Following the attack on October 7, many Americans began participating in demonstrations supporting Hamas terrorists’ attack on Israel, with several of these demonstrations happening at U.S. colleges and universities. Additionally, the former chief of Hamas’ political bureau last week called for Muslims across the world to head to the squares and streets to protest in support of Palestinians and for neighboring countries to join the battle against Israel.
Rubio’s release says some people responsible for organizing and participating in the demonstrations across the U.S. supporting Hamas are in the country on visas.
“The Biden Administration has the authority and an obligation under existing law to immediately identify, cancel the visas of, and remove foreign nationals already here in America who have demonstrated support terrorist groups, and in many cases, even celebrated the slaughter of Israeli babies and the rape of Jewish girls,” the Republican senator said.
Pro-Palestinian student groups at Harvard University and other institutions have also released statements endorsing the violence against Israel while many of the universities themselves have condemned the acts of terrorism.
The Harvard Palestine Solidarity Groups, comprised of about 30 Harvard student groups, wrote in a statement shortly after the attack, “We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” The statement was later deleted after several of the groups withdrew their names amid backlash and after some CEOs demanded the university release the names of the students who signed the statement.
“In addition to demanding the Biden Administration apply 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 rescind visas of foreign nationals who actively support Hamas and legislation to remove federal funding from colleges and universities that allow protests, demonstrations and other activity that can be “reasonably construed” to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization.
Hamas was designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 by the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism.
Other GOP lawmakers calling for the U.S. to not accept refugees from Gaza include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs.
“I don’t know what Biden’s gonna do, but we cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees,” DeSantis said during a campaign stop in Iowa. “I am not going to do that. If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all antisemitic. None of them believe in Israel’s right to exist.”