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Rubio to Blinken: Revoke Visas for Hamas Sympathizers

Oct 15, 2023 | Immigration News, Press Releases

Following its brutal and unjustified attacks on Israeli civilians, Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorist group, declared a global “day of rage” and called for its supporters to commit acts of violence across the globe. Many of those who organized demonstrations in support of Hamas, which is a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), are living, studying, or working in the United States on visas. Current law prohibits supporters of terrorism entry into the United States. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding he review and revoke the visas of those who have endorsed or embraced Hamas’s terrorist activity. 

  • “America is the most welcoming country in the world. During Fiscal Year 2022 alone, we issued more than six million nonimmigrant visas. However, the privilege of entering and staying in our great country is not afforded to those who wish to do us harm or advocate on behalf of Hamas.”
  • “I urge you to immediately use existing law to eradicate this hate from our country. In addition, I will be introducing legislation to provide further tools to ensure supporters of Hamas, and other FTOs, do not benefit from our country’s generosity. I welcome your input.”

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Secretary Blinken: 

I write with regard to a disturbing increase in demonstrations in support of Hamas, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), on American soil. Coupled with direct instructions from Hamas to participate in a “day of rage,” it is crucial that our government responds swiftly. The U.S. Department of State plays a key role in this, and as such, I call on you to immediately perform a full review and coordination effort to revoke the visas of those who have endorsed or espoused Hamas’ terrorist activity. 

Starting on October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a brutal terrorist attack on the State of Israel. Let me be clear: Hamas slaughtered, raped, mutilated, and kidnapped innocent Israeli civilians—as well as dozens of Americans. It is extremely concerning that numerous pro-Hamas protests have taken place on American soil, many of which occurred on college campuses. 

America is the most welcoming country in the world. During Fiscal Year 2022 alone, we issued more than six million nonimmigrant visas. However, the privilege of entering and staying in our great country is not afforded to those who wish to do us harm or advocate on behalf of Hamas. Per 8 U.S.C. 1182, an alien is inadmissible into the United States should they represent “a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity.” Hamas’ designation as a FTO makes this a clear directive to institute a thorough review of all visa holders and applicants. This should include coordination with law enforcement, both federal and state/local, as well as universities. 

I urge you to immediately use existing law to eradicate this hate from our country. In addition, I will be introducing legislation to provide further tools to ensure supporters of Hamas, and other FTOs, do not benefit from our country’s generosity. I welcome your input. Thank you for your attention for this important matter. 

Sincerely,