News U.S.

Biden admin considering bringing some Palestinians to the U.S. as refugees

Image: Video Screenshot

Joe Biden is considering welcoming certain Palestinians to the United States as refugees.

Officials at the White House have been discussing ways to help Gazans who have family in the US, either as citizens or permanent residents, according to government papers obtained by CBS News.

People from Gaza who meet specific eligibility criteria could be granted refugee status and allowed to enter the U.S

In recent weeks, documents indicate that senior officials from various U.S. federal agencies have been discussing how practical it would be to resettle Palestinians from Gaza

who have close family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

One of the plans under consideration suggests using the longstanding United States Refugee Admissions Program to accept Palestinians with U.S. family ties who have managed to escape Gaza and cross into neighboring Egypt, according to the inter-agency planning documents.

Those who pass various eligibility, medical, and security checks could qualify to travel to the U.S. as refugees, granting them permanent residency, resettlement benefits like housing assistance, and a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

To qualify for refugee status in the U.S., applicants must demonstrate they are escaping persecution based on specific grounds such as nationality, religion, or political beliefs. Some Palestinians may claim they are fleeing oppression by Hamas, While others might point to persecution by the Israeli military and government, which is a significant U.S. ally and receives American aid.

U.S. officials explore resettlement options for Palestinians with American family ties

High-ranking U.S. officials have also explored the possibility of helping more Palestinians leave Gaza and processing them as refugees if they have American relatives, the documents show. This would require cooperation with Egypt, which has so far been reluctant to accept large numbers of people from Gaza.

Although the number of eligible people is expected to be relatively small, the plans being considered by U.S. officials could provide a critical lifeline for some Palestinians fleeing the Israel-Hamas war. Local health authorities report that more than 34,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced in Gaza.

Late Tuesday, a White House spokesperson told CBS News that the U.S “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,” the official added.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

Daily Newsletter