Biden Blocks Deportation Of Palestinians In US

President Joe Biden speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden issued a memorandum on Wednesday, directing the deferral of removal of certain Palestinians present in the United States for a period of 18 months.

According to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the order aims to provide “a temporary safe haven” for most Palestinians in the United States. Sullivan stated that individuals convicted of felonies or deemed to pose a public safety threat would not be eligible for deferred enforced departure. Additionally, individuals who voluntarily return to the Palestinian territories would forfeit any protections provided by the memorandum.

Exceptions to the directive include Palestinians who have voluntarily returned to the Palestinian territories after Wednesday, those who have not continuously resided in the United States since Wednesday, individuals inadmissible or deportable under certain sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, those convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors in the United States, individuals subject to extradition, those deemed to present a danger to public safety or adverse foreign policy consequences, and individuals whose presence in the United States is determined not to be in the interest of the country by the Secretary of State.

Furthermore, President Biden directed Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to authorize employment for noncitizens whose removal has been deferred and to consider suspending regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students who are Palestinians.

Last November, Democrats in the House and Senate sent Biden a letter urging him to authorize Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians present in the United States.

Meanwhile, President Biden’s actions have drawn criticism for undermining Israel. He has referred to Israel’s military operation against Hamas as “over the top,” signed an executive order targeting Israeli civilians, and made statements perceived as detrimental to Israel’s interests in meetings with foreign leaders.