by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, June 29, 2022:
The Biden administration altered federal law to make it easier for individuals who have worked with designated terrorist groups to legally enter the United States.
The State and Homeland Security Departments last week amended federal immigration laws to allow foreigners who provided “insignificant material support” to designated terror groups to receive “immigration benefits or other status,” according to the policy published in the Federal Register but not formally announced by the administration. Examples of individuals who would fall into the new category, according to the announcement, include individuals who provided “humanitarian assistance” or “routine commercial transactions” to terror groups.
The policy shift is fueling concerns that the Biden administration wants to make it easier for individuals who work with or for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the country’s paramilitary fighting force that has killed hundreds of Americans, to enter the country. Notice of the change came several days before the Biden administration and hardline Iranian government resumed talks aimed at securing a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal.
A State Department spokesman said the law was amended to help vulnerable Afghans, who might have inadvertently worked with terror groups, gain refuge in the United States following the Biden administration’s bungled withdrawal that left the Taliban in power. Lawmakers and former U.S. officials, however, say the new regulations are so broadly written that they would apply to organizations like al Qaeda and the IRGC. The policy change is also raising red flags as U.S. officials, including former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, face credible death threats from Iran.
The rule does not specifically mention Afghanistan but is written to cover all U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, such as the IRGC and al Qaeda, experts told the Free Beacon. The Taliban is not designated as a foreign terrorist organization, leaving lawmakers and former U.S. officials concerned the changes extend far beyond vulnerable Afghans and cover those tied to some of the globe’s most violent terror groups.
Gabriel Noronha, a State Department special adviser for Iran during the Trump administration, said that “the Biden administration is claiming this regulation is all about Afghanistan, but they didn’t even mention Afghanistan once in their action, and have made no serious attempt to limit the scope to the situation there.”
“Instead,” said Noronha, who is a fellow with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America think tank, “this looks like a massive watering down of our immigration restrictions against members of terrorist organizations.”
The State Department says the changes are limited to Afghanistan, but would not say why the country is not mentioned once in the new order….
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