Senator Ron Johnson demands that Biden halt the plan to accept refugees from Gaza

“Our first duty should be to save our own citizens, not the people of Gaza” – US Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin).

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is demanding that President Joe Biden halt his plan to accept refugees from Gaza into the United States, “citing concerns about possible ties to terrorists.”

Johnson joined U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and 33 other Republican senators in sending a letter to President Biden “in response to reports that the Biden administration plans to accept refugees from Gaza into the United States take,” said a statement from Johnson.

“The senators demanded that the president abandon his plan and instead focus his efforts on rescuing Americans held hostage by Hamas in Gaza,” the press release said.

“Your administration’s reported plan to accept refugees from Gaza poses a national security risk to the United States. With more than a third of Gazans supporting Hamas militants, we have no confidence that your government can adequately vet this at-risk population for ties and sympathies to terrorists before admitting them to the United States,” the senators wrote.

Ron Johnson
Senator Ron Johnson

“We are also frustrated that your administration is moving ahead with a plan to evacuate Gazans from the Gaza Strip while American citizens continue to be held hostage by Hamas. We demand that your administration stop making plans to accept refugees from Gaza until you adequately respond to our concerns and instead focus your attention on securing the release of American hostages held by Hamas,” the senators continued .

Johnson’s office noted that a recent poll “showed that more than 70% of Gazans viewed Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel as the ‘right’ decision.”

They pointed out that: “We must ensure that Gazans with terrorist ties or sympathies are denied entry into the United States – no easy task, given that Gazans were the ones who brought Hamas to power in 2006. Without thorough investigation, your government could inadvertently allow terrorists posing as refugees into its homeland. This is especially the case because Hamas terrorists have a long track record of interacting with the civilian population in Gaza.”

“Unfortunately, the risk of terrorists entering our homeland is not a hypothetical issue. Border officials arrested 169 people on FBI terror watch lists in fiscal year 2023, a record number that surpasses the total for the past six fiscal years combined. Among the arrested terrorists is a Hezbollah fighter who planned to “make a bomb” and was on his way to New York. Given your administration’s staggering inability to stem the flow of potential terrorists at our border, how can Congress trust your administration to protect refugees crossing the Egypt-Gaza border, which is nearly 6,000 miles from Washington, D.C. , adequately investigated?” the senators continued.

“To prevent a national security threat from landing in our homeland at taxpayer expense, Senators have asked President Biden to answer how many refugees his administration plans to accept, what screening will take place to prevent terrorist sympathizers reaching our homeland, the costs to taxpayers, whether the government has consulted with partners in the region, and the locations for refugee housing,” the release said.

Sens. Johnson and Ernst were joined in this letter by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso, M.D. (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (RS.D.), Ted Budd (RN.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul, M.D. (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Boozman (R-Ark .), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roger Marshall, MD (R-Kan.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Kennedy (R-La.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Thom Tillis (RN. C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (RN.D.), Lindsey Graham (R-C.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Tim Scott (R-C.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) ) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).