By Aaron Kliegman

July 5, 2022

-Just The News


People who worked with terrorist groups will now have an easier time entering the U.S. legally.

Last week, the State and Homeland Security departments announced they had altered the Immigration and Nationality Act, a federal law, to grant entry into the U.S. and other “immigration benefits” to those who provided “limited” or “insignificant” material support to designated terrorist organizations.

Examples of such support include “routine commercial transactions,” “humanitarian assistance,” “substantial pressure that does not rise to the level of duress,” and “the satisfaction of certain well-established or verifiable family, social, or cultural obligations.”

The amended language, detailed in a notice to the Federal Register, creates a carveout so immigration restrictions, including an entry ban into the country, no longer apply to these individuals provided they show they “pose no danger to the safety and security of the United States.”

Other factors considered by the government include whether the person in question supported “terrorist activities that they knew or reasonably should have known targeted noncombatant persons, U.S. citizens, or U.S. interests.”

The notice added that the carveout “may be revoked as a matter of discretion and without notice at any time, with respect to any and all persons subject to it.”

The changes are raising alarm bells among immigration and national security experts, who told Just the News that the Biden administration is potentially endangering American lives.

“This is a very concerning decision to weaken the government’s ability to keep supporters of terror groups from exploiting our generous immigration system,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. “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 State Department spokesperson told Just the News that the move is meant specifically to help Afghans so they don’t get flagged unfairly and can enjoy America’s immigration benefits.

“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,” added the spokesperson, who explained individuals will be vetted on a case-by-case basis.

The Taliban is the Islamist group in control of Afghanistan.

The initial press release from the Biden administration announcing the new exemptions echoed these points, saying they’ll allow the U.S. “to protect Afghan allies by alleviating certain obstacles to immigration benefits.”

However, the actual language of the new rule is broad and appears to apply to all countries and U.S.-designated terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al Qaeda, according to experts and former officials. The rule doesn’t specifically mention Afghans, Afghanistan, or the Taliban.

“If this regulation is truly intended only for the restricted case of Afghanistan, the administration should quickly amend this regulation to remove the troubling loopholes,” wrote Gabriel Noronha, who served in the Trump administration as a special adviser for Iran at the State Department.