Palestinian Refugees Incoming as Biden Defers Enforced Departure for Those Already Here

The Biden administration is considering resettling Palestinian refugees using the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and also deferred enforced departure in February for Palestinians who are already here. On Feb. 14, the White House ordered the Department of Homeland Security to defer the removal of Palestinians who are here in the U.S. under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program. 

In 2021, Biden committed to using the refugee resettlement program to reach the goal of 125,000 refugee admissions per year. According to a May 13 article from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), "the foreign-born or immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit new record highs in March 2024 of 51.6 million and 15.6 percent of the total U.S. population...Since President Biden took office in January 2021, the foreign-born population has increased by 6.6 million in just 39 months."

CBS News reports that the White House would coordinate efforts with Egypt, "which has so far refused to welcome large numbers of people from Gaza." If the administration follows through, the U.S. will provide flights to the U.S. for refugees who pass certain eligibility requirements, including medical and security screenings. According to CIS, vetting immigrants from the region would require "crosschecking identification and intelligence documents with Gaza's local authorities, meaning Hamas," not exactly a transparent process.

Beneficiaries of the program could be offered permanent residency with resettlement benefits like housing assistance, health screening and medical treatment, cultural orientation, job training, movement assistance, travel loans, and American citizenship. Refugees coming in under this program are also eligible for admission to U.S. universities tuition-free. According to CIS, asylum-seeking refugees are required to apply for a green card one year after arrival and can apply for citizenship four years later.

Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

Following the Hamas' Oct. 7, 2023 attack on Israel, the White House ordered DHS to "defer for 18 months the removal of any Palestinian who is present in the United States" on Feb. 14, 2024." The order defers removal until Aug. 13, 2025, and includes the ability to apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that will also be valid through Aug. 13, 2025. The President can order and extend deferrals for removal at his discretion, with no statutory basis whatsoever.

Palestinians are not the only refugees who have benefited from DED. In 2022, Biden issued a memorandum extending and expanding DED for Liberians until June 2024. Both Bush and Obama deferred the enforced departure of Liberians who were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The United States has provided safe haven for Liberians since 1991, but "TPS for affected Liberian nationals ended effective Oct. 1, 2007." Needless to say, it appears TPS is anything but temporary for certain favored refugees. The DED for Liberians has effectively been extended for decades.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the legal basis for DED is dubious at best. And DED is "particularly controversial because the majority of its beneficiaries are either removable from the country (either because they entered illegally, overstayed a visa, or violated the requirements of their status and become subject to removal under existing immigration laws) or were never admitted to the United States with authorization to work in the United States, to begin with."

Congress has created specific programs and laws that provide humanitarian protection to aliens who bring claims of credible fear, asking for asylum from their countries of origin. However, the Biden administration has been notorious for abusing and expanding the asylum program under the guise of humanitarian protection. Biden expanded the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in 2023 with the Welcome Corps private sponsorship program. Private individuals backed by NGOs are allowed to sponsor refugees in the U.S. Some of those sponsors are recent green card applicants who are not American citizens. USCIS also recently announced the opening of two new offices in Qatar and Turkey, both of which are Muslim nations.

Please see the statistics on credible fear reviews and total asylum applications from the Justice Department below:

The Biden administration imposed several restrictions on the eligibility of Palestinians to extend their stay, most likely to "alleviate security concerns."

However, as CIS points out, Americans will ultimately "have to rely on DHS's ability to identify security risks of aliens whose country is currently at war and exercise its discretion appropriately under Secretary Mayorkas's leadership."

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