update deskIsrael at War

Report: Biden considering welcoming some Gazans to US

Those with immediate family members who are either American citizens or permanent residents could qualify for resettlement.

Displaced Palestinians pitch tents next to the Egyptian border with the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 8, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Displaced Palestinians pitch tents next to the Egyptian border with the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 8, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

The Biden administration is considering a plan to allow some Gaza residents to resettle in the United States, CBS News reported on Tuesday, citing internal federal government documents.

According to the documents, senior officials from various U.S. federal agencies have discussed options for bringing Gazans to the country who have immediate family members who are either American citizens or permanent residents.

One option under discussion is the United States Refugee Admissions Program, whose mission is “to offer resettlement opportunities to persons overseas who are of special humanitarian concern, while protecting national security and combating fraud,” according to the report. The USRAP would be implemented for Gazans who have fled to neighboring Egypt.

Another idea is to assist with getting Gazans with American relatives out of the coastal enclave and processing them as refugees. This would be done in coordination with Egypt, however, Cairo has steadfastly refused to allow large numbers of Gazans trying to escape the war into the country.

Those deemed eligible would receive all of the benefits available to resettled refugees, including housing assistance and a pathway to American citizenship.

The United States “has helped more than 1,800 American citizens and their families leave Gaza, many of whom have come to the United States. At President Biden’s direction, we have also helped, and will continue to help, some particularly vulnerable individuals, such as children with serious health problems and children who were receiving treatment for cancer, get out of harm’s way and receive care at nearby hospitals in the region,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement given to CBS News on Tuesday.

The United States “categorically rejects any actions leading to the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza. The best path forward is to achieve a sustainable cease-fire through a hostage deal that will stabilize the situation and pave the way to a two-state solution,” the statement continued.

The CBS News article highlights that resettling Gazans would mark a major departure from long-standing American policy not to welcome Palestinians as refugees to U.S. shores.

Israel has been fighting a war against Hamas in Gaza since the terrorist group led an assault on the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7, killing, wounding and kidnapping thousands and committing atrocities such as rape, mutilation and beheadings of Israelis and foreign nationals.

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