A coalition of 20 American states is pushing for the expulsion of university and college student visa holders who support terrorism and anti-Semitism. It’s part of an initiative to protect Jewish and Christian students, following a surge in hatred and anger directed at Israel on US campuses.
CBN News reports state attorneys general are leading calls for a review of visas with Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin writing a letter to the US State Department and Homeland Security on behalf of the coalition of states. It demands that the government departments “vigorously renew vetting of foreign student visa holders and promptly remove anyone who has endorsed or espoused terrorist activity or provided material support to foreign terrorist organisations.”
“These are people that are here because we allow them to be here. If they’re going to engage in this sort of support of terrorists, then we need to get them out of here,” Mr. Griffin said.
Iowa’s Attorney General Brenna Bird was one of the signatories. She observed that among the foreign students: “I would say most of them don’t support terrorism, most people who are here on a student visa are here to study and learn about American culture. But those that are supporting terrorism shouldn’t be in our country. It’s even more concerning when I hear students on campus say that they’re scared, they don’t feel safe because of what is going on there.”
“The last thing we want is for Hamas and Hamas sympathisers to be using the US in order to plan future attacks,” Ms. Bird added
In 2022, the federal government issued more than 400,000 student visas, an increase of 53,000 (or 15%) over the previous year, and the highest recorded total seen in six years. CBN News reports: “One reason could be the money generated by the student visa program which pumps about A$60 million into the US economy via tuition, living expenses, and other spending.”
The Christian broadcaster notes that “almost three-quarters of student visa holders find jobs in the important fields of science, tech, engineering and maths within three years of graduating. Some call that a huge return of investment as top international talent stays in America.”
Iowa’s Brenna Bird is also leading a coalition of 13 Republican state attorneys general calling on media organisations to cut all ties with Gaza-based journalists with alleged links to Hamas. She sent a letter to the New York Times, CNN and the two leading international news agencies Associated Press and Reuters, following allegations by Israel that they were employing freelancers affiliated with Hamas. Israel claimed they had advance knowledge of the October 7 attacks by Hamas and its allies.