Biden Proposes Admission of Gaza Refugees Amid Concerns Over Afghan Casehandling

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President Joe Biden is attempting to address his anti-Israel critics by proposing the admission of Gazan refugees into the United States. However, a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General highlights his administration’s failure to effectively track the 77,000 Afghan refugees already admitted into the country. This raises doubts about the administration’s capability or willingness to manage additional refugee influxes.

After the fall of the Afghan government following Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops, the administration aimed to reduce the killing of American allies by evacuating as many Afghan refugees as possible. Approximately 97,000 Afghans were flown to the U.S., with 77,000 given humanitarian parole by DHS.

This status allowed them to apply for immigration benefits such as resettlement assistance and work authorization. Parole status is valid for two years, provided the individual maintains good behavior, gets vaccinated, and reports address changes.

To access these benefits, parolees must apply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Often, the agency’s background checks uncover “derogatory information,” leading to benefit denials. In theory, “derogatory information” can also justify parole revocation and deportation.

However, USCIS is not a law enforcement body. It hands over “derogatory information” to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is tasked with deporting offending migrants. Unfortunately, the DHS inspector general found that the standards for denying benefits at USCIS differ from those for deportation at ICE. Under new lenient enforcement standards from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, ICE seldom acts against Afghan parolees violating parole. By executive order, they are not a priority for the Biden administration.

The inspector general’s report noted that in 94% of “egregious public safety” cases referred from USCIS to ICE, which include offenses like murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, and drug trafficking, ICE took no action against the migrant. This leaves many “egregious public safety” risks unrestricted in the U.S.

Furthermore, the report found that DHS lacks a system for tracking parolees once their parole expires. All Afghan refugees admitted to the U.S. were granted two-year parole. They have the option to renew this term, but it is not automatic. No one in DHS is responsible for ensuring parolees reapply, leading to a situation where thousands of legally admitted Afghans transition to illegal status as their parole expires, without any intervention from DHS.

The U.S. currently has a record number of foreign-born residents. College campuses have seen activists supporting Hamas’s violence against Israel, and military bases are facing foreign national infiltration attempts. Now, with the DHS inspector general pointing out the administration’s inability to monitor current refugees, Biden continues to push for the admission of more.

The cultural and societal differences between the people of Gaza and the U.S. are significant. Gazans would likely find it more fitting and beneficial to reside in one of the many Arab countries in the Middle East. Nations like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait are in dire need of laborers, making them more suitable destinations for Gazan refugees.

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