Dem lawmakers demand Biden open ‘pathways to Palestinian refugees’ for resettlement in the US


On Thursday, Congressional Democrats sent a bicameral letter to the Biden administration requesting that Palestinian refugees be admitted into the United States. 

They urged Secretary Blinken and Secretary Mayorkas to make a Priority-2 designation under the US Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) for certain Palestinians, which would “open pathways” for them to come to the United States. This would apply to Palestinians with relatives who are either US citizens or lawful permanent residents, meaning non-US citizens, according to the letter.

The letter was spearheaded by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rep. Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and was signed by a total of 69 Congressional Democrats in both the House and Senate.

“Since the outbreak of the conflict in Gaza, many congressional offices have received distressing requests for assistance from constituents desperately seeking to reunite with their loved ones. We appreciate the steps that the Biden Administration has taken to evacuate American citizens from Gaza. However, without pathways for Americans to petition for their relatives in Gaza, countless families with strong ties to our nation remain stranded in life-threatening conditions,” the letter states.

“We urge you to consider opening pathways to Palestinian refugees, particularly those with family members in the United States, to seek relief in the United States,” it continues. “Specifically, we urge you to designate certain categories of Palestinians and their eligible family members, particularly close relatives of American citizens and US lawful permanent residents, for access to the USRAP.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said in a press release: “Palestinians in Gaza are facing an unrelenting barrage of violence, in addition to a lack of food, water, and sanitation as entire towns have been destroyed.” The fight between Hamas and Israel began on October 7, when Hamas and Palestinians attacked Israel, murdering 1,200 and kidnapping over 200. Many of those are still held hostage by terrorists. Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas.

“Establishing a P-2 designation for certain Palestinians, primarily families of American citizens and lawful permanent residents, to legally enter the country as refugees would be an important step to save innocent lives at this dire moment. I call on the Administration to quickly enact this policy and reunite separated families while continuing to pursue a permanent ceasefire, the reconstruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza, and swift delivery of humanitarian aid.”

The request comes after the Hamas terror group recently rejected the Biden administration’s proposed ceasefire agreement which would have seen hostages held by Hamas released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed severe frustration over the matter and said any future deaths of Palestinians in the conflict would be at the hands of Hamas. The Palestinian people voted Hamas into power in 2006 after Israel withdrew from the region.


Las Vegas News Magazine

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