Biden signs order to protect 6,000 Palestinians from deportation


Published: 2024-02-15 09:51

Last Updated: 2024-04-16 11:28

Biden signs order to protect 6,000 Palestinians from deportation
Biden signs order to protect 6,000 Palestinians from deportation

United States President Joe Biden signed an order Wednesday which protects several thousand Palestinians in the US from deportations for the next 18 months at least, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

Approximately 6,000 Palestinians are eligible for this exemption under a program called "deferred enforced departure," which allows immigrants whose homelands are in crisis to stay in the United States and work legally.

In a memo obtained by the New York Times, Biden said that "many civilians are still in danger" in Gaza after Oct. 7, 2023.

Biden added: "Therefore, I am directing the deferral of removal of certain Palestinians who are present in the United States.”

This decision comes at a time when Biden is facing internal and external pressure regarding his administration’s stance on the aggression against Gaza, especially among Arab Americans who once formed a reliable voting bloc for him. In recent weeks, pro-Palestinian groups have been demonstrating outside his campaign stops, chanting the slogan “genocide Joe.”

According to the New York Times, there are some exceptions to Biden's order. Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to Mr. Biden, said in a statement that Palestinians convicted of crimes or "otherwise deemed to pose a threat to public safety" will not be protected from deportation.

The Executive Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Abed Ayoub, praised the decision to exempt Palestinians from deportation, noting the "urgent need" for such a move.

Ayoub expressed hope for additional measures to improve the situation in Gaza and Palestine.