(DailyVantage.com) – The Biden administration confirmed its authority to revoke visas for foreign nationals residing in the U.S. who support foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas, a move urged by Republicans pushing for a crackdown on pro-Hamas individuals.
The State Department, in a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), confirmed that Hamas is designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The department asserted its authority, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, to repeal visas when there is information suggesting that a visa holder may be ineligible for a U.S. visa.
Upon receiving ‘derogatory information’ indicating ineligibility, the department promptly takes action, which will lead to visa revocation. In collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, continuous screening ensures ongoing eligibility for travel to the United States.
The department agreed with Rubio’s condemnation of Hamas’ attack on Israel, stating they share the outrage.
In response, Rubio emphasized that the State Department confirmed they have the authority to rescind the visas of Hamas endorsers and deport them, stating, “Now is the time to swing to action.”
A spokesperson from the State Department clarified that the department can revoke visas under federal authority, especially when there’s a sign that an applicant may threaten U.S. national security or is potentially ineligible for a visa based on security-related grounds in the INA. The department exercises its revocation authority if there’s reason to suspect an individual has offered support to a foreign terrorist organization.
The department also mentioned that ensuring strict screening standards for visa applicants is an ongoing practice that must adjust to new threats. They explained that they continually seek ways to enhance screening processes and facilitate lawful travel and immigration to the United States while safeguarding U.S. citizens.
Rubio led a resolution urging the government to revoke visas and start deportation proceedings for any foreign national who has endorsed or espoused the terrorist activities of groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
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