New House GOP Bill Proposes 2-Year Ban on Palestinian Immigration


A new bill backed by House Republicans seeks to pause the immigration of Palestinians to the United States for two years, in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the Guarding American Zones Against Palestinian Immigration, or GAZA, Act aims to halt immigration from the Palestinian Authority. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mary Miller (R-IL), and Eli Crane (R-AZ).

“If Palestinian refugees are too dangerous for our allies in the region, they are certainly too dangerous for the United States,” Gaetz said in a statement. “The Biden administration’s border policies have already exacerbated national security concerns across our country.”

“A two-year moratorium on all immigration from Palestine is a common-sense measure to ensure the safety and security of the American people. We must prioritize the protection of our nation and its citizens above all else,” Gaetz added.

This bill represents the latest effort by Republicans to express solidarity with Israel, which has been engaged in a war with Hamas since the terrorist group attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. About 1,200 people lost their lives in the attacks. The death toll in Gaza has continued to climb, with the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reporting more than 36,000 Palestinians killed.

Gaetz’s legislation also precedes a joint session of Congress where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to speak. A specific date has not yet been set, but House Democrats have already shown displeasure with the plan for his visit during discussions about the latest ceasefire proposal.

Although both House Republicans and most Democrats have condemned the Hamas attack and backed Israel, some progressive House Democrats have called for a permanent ceasefire and criticized Netanyahu’s administration for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the sole Palestinian American in Congress, has opposed similar GOP measures targeting Palestinian immigration and is among Netanyahu’s most vocal critics. She was censured last November for “promoting false narratives” about the Oct. 7 attack and allegedly “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

In late January, the House passed the No Immigration Benefits for Hamas Terrorists Act, which blocks individuals affiliated with Hamas or the Palestine Liberation Organization from entering the U.S., with a 422-2 vote. Tlaib and Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) were the only “no” votes, while Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-IL) opted to vote present. The Senate has not yet voted on the bill.

At the time, Tlaib criticized the bill as “unnecessary” and described it as “just another GOP messaging bill being used to incite anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim hatred that makes communities like ours unsafe.”

Truth Voices has reached out to Tlaib for her comments on Gaetz’s GAZA Act.

Rachel Schilke
Rachel Schilke
Congress Reporter.

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