Thursday 15 February 2024

President Biden Heads Off Deportation Of Certain Palestinians Citing Humanitarian Reasons

 President Joe Biden deferred the deportation of certain Palestinians for 18 months on humanitarian grounds, according to a White House statement Wednesday.

“I am directing the deferral of removal of certain Palestinians who are present in the United States,” Biden said in the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) memorandum to the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Biden made the move as “humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian territories, and primarily Gaza, have significantly deteriorated” as Israel’s military response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel continues, the statement added. The deferral was in the US’s foreign policy interest, Biden said.

The deferral covered Palestinians who were in the U.S. as of Wednesday. Palestinians who “voluntarily” travel to “the Palestinian territories after” Wednesday, do “not continuously” reside in the U.S. after Wednesday, “have been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors,” have been regarded as “inadmissible” or deportable under specified sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), face extradition or posed a security or foreign policy threat to the US were exempted from the deferral.

Biden also directed Mayorkas to “authorize employment” for the stated 18 months for the Palestinians covered by the deferral, according to the statement. Mayorkas could also “consider suspending regulatory requirements” regarding Palestinian “F-1 nonimmigrant students” as he saw fit, the president added.

A sitting US president specifies the terms of the DED in each directive, and the terms then shape the eligibility requirements, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Biden announced a two-year DED for certain Hong Kongers in Jan. 2023. He also announced the extension and expansion of a DED for Liberians originally announced by former President George W. Bush and previously extended by former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who led the effort to urge Biden to announce the DED, lauded Biden’s move as “a critically important step to ensure that Palestinians in the United States today are not forced to return to an active war zone.”

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who joined the two Reps in their effortdescribed the DED as a “welcome announcement”.

The Republican Party-controlled House of Representatives impeached Mayorkas Tuesday. Mayorkas “directed the release of millions of inadmissible aliens into the country,” Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee wrote in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday in part to explain why he and others voted to impeach the secretary.

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search