President Joe Biden’s administration is easing immigration restrictions on people who have provided “limited” or “insignificant” support to terrorist organizations.
Last week, Biden’s Departments of State and Homeland Security announced the change to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which will allow entry to immigrants who have provided designated terrorist organizations with “insignificant material support,” “routine commercial transactions,” “certain humanitarian assistance,” and “substantial pressure that does not rise to the level of duress.”
The change will allow immigrants with limited terrorist ties to enter the U.S. provided he or she “poses no danger to the safety and security of the United States.”
The Biden administration is also taking into consideration whether an individual “did not voluntarily and knowingly engage in terrorist activity on behalf of a designated terrorist organization,” and if he or she has “undergone and passed all relevant background and security checks.”
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told Just The News that the changes are a cause for concern.
“This is a very concerning decision to weaken the government’s ability to keep supporters of terror groups from exploiting our generous immigration system,” she said. “This policy essentially makes excuses on behalf of foreign nationals who have been found to support terror groups, giving them deniability, and enables naive bureaucrats to look the other way at a record of concerning behavior on the part of applicants.
“As a result, it will be even easier for those who hate America and support terror groups to live here legally, free to fight us from within, and free to sponsor others to come in.”
A spokesperson for the State Department told the outlet that the change is designed to help Afghans who may have been unfairly flagged prior to the adjustment.
“This action will allow the U.S. government to meet the protection needs of qualifying Afghans who do not pose a national security or public safety risk and provide them with the ability to access a durable immigration status in the United States,” the spokesperson said.
“Eligible individuals include Afghans who supported and worked with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, worked as civil servants or as doctors, teachers, and engineers during a time when the Taliban was in power, or who paid fees to the Taliban as required by daily life to do things like pass through a checkpoint or utilize a government service to obtain a passport or other document,” the spokesperson added.
Vaughan rejected the administration’s explanation, arguing that the change will be dangerous for Americans.
“As usual, the Biden administration is pushing this on behalf of one particular group (Afghans in this case) that it believes the public will have sympathy for, but in fact it is much broader, and could cover many others of concern, such as drug cartels, gangs, espionage scenarios, and hostile governments,” said Vaughan.
The administration’s vague and subjective language like “limited” and “insignificant,” she added, “practically guarantees that dangerous people who could and should be kept out will slide through our system.”