Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) introduced a bill Thursday that could ban Palestinians from entering the U.S. and possibly expel those who are already here.
Zinke, who served as secretary of the Interior Department under former President Trump, introduced legislation called the Safeguarding Americans from Extremism Act.
The legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt granting visas, asylum and refuge for people who have a Palestinian Authority-issued passport. The bill would revoke the entrance or visa for individuals who came to the U.S. after Oct. 1.
“This legislation keeps America safe,” Zinke said. “I don’t trust the Biden Administration any more than I do the Palestinian Authority to screen who is allowed to come into the United States. This is the most anti-Hamas immigration legislation I have seen and it’s well deserved. Given the circumstances, the threats to our immigration system and the history of terrorists abusing refugee, asylum and visa processes all over the world, the requirements in this bill are necessary to keep Americans safe. This bill does exactly that.”
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Zinke’s bill would bar DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from granting Temporary Protected Status to people with the passport, along with refugee status and asylum. It would direct DHS to work with Customs Enforcement and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to “identify” and remove individuals “without lawful status, including newly revoked status.”
The legislation comes after GOP lawmakers issued a letter earlier in October to Mayorkas and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to revoke and deport students on temporary student visas who “have expressed support for Hamas” in the aftermath of the deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel that left more than 1,400 people dead.
Zinke’s bill has 10 co-sponsors — Reps. Andy Harris (R-Md.), Aaron Bean (R-Fla.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Clay Higgins (R-La.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Barry Moore (R-Ala.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).