One idea floated by many on the right in the wake of the startling, often massive pro-Hamas protests that swept the country in the wake of Hamas’ vicious attack on Israel and Israel’s retaliatory bombing campaign is that those foreign nationals in the United States protesting in support of Hamas, a terrorist group, should be deported.
But while the right is behind such an idea, the White House, though generally behind Israel, is less interested in the idea. Such became clear when Real Clear Politics White House correspondent Phil Wegmann asked about the idea during a press conference and was quickly shot down by Karine Jean Pierre and John Kirby.
He asked, “There’s been an uptick on the right among some Republicans who have called for students who are foreign nationals who are demonstrating in some of these pro-Palestine demonstrations or allegedly pro-Hamas demonstrations to have their student visas pulled or face deportation. What is the administration’s response to those kinds of remarks and that kind of rhetoric?”
John Kirby quickly shot down the idea, saying, “That — I — I would just tell you — I would just tell you that you don’t have to agree with every sentiment that is expressed in a free country like this to — to stand by the — the idea — the First Amendment and the idea of peaceful protest. I’ll leave it at that.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attacked Kirby’s response on X, formerly Twitter, saying, “The Biden Administration is dead wrong. No one has a right to come to our country. If foreign students are out there celebrating Hamas’ atrocities, they should have their visas canceled and be deported.”
The Biden Administration is dead wrong.
No one has a right to come to our country. If foreign students are out there celebrating Hamas’ atrocities, they should have their visas canceled and be deported. pic.twitter.com/F29J6V7I6W
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) October 23, 2023
In any case, KJP told reporters much the same thing as Kirby, saying, “We are always going to denounce antisemitism but people have the right to peacefully protest. But we, in this administration, are always going to denounce antisemitism and any form of hate. Whether it is against the Jewish community, antisemitism, against the Muslim community, Arab American community, or the Palestin–. We are going to denounce any form of hate that comes towards those communities.”
Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, reacted quite warmly to the idea of deporting those who protest in support of the terror organization. He recently said that he would implement “strong ideological screening of all immigrants to the United States,” screening meant to ensure that there is no way for “dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots and maniacs to get residency in our country.”
Continuing, he explained that the deportations would apply to anywhere that threatened our security and that he would make sure to revoke student visas of “radical anti-American and antisemitic foreigners” enrolled in US colleges and universities and deport them.
Similarly, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott told “Hannity” during an interview that he thinks there should be deportations of those involved, saying, “Anyone who stands up and says they want to kill Jews, they support terrorism, they should have that visa revoked.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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