Republicans Want to Deport Students for Speaking Out on the Israel-Hamas War – By Nina Wang (Mother Jones) / Nov 9, 2023
Vague proposals to expel immigrants for “supporting Hamas” threaten free speech, civil liberties advocates warn.
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GOP presidential candidates are threatening to deport international students who they accuse of sympathizing with anti-Israel terrorists. “If you are here on a student visa as a foreign national, and you’re making common cause with Hamas, I’m canceling your visa and I’m sending you home, no questions asked,” vowed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during Wednesday night’s debate.
“To every student who has come to our country on a visa to a college campus, your visa is a privilege, not a right,” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said during the same event. “To all the students on visas who are encouraging Jewish genocide, I would deport you.”
Those comments were just the latest salvo in the escalating Republican campaign against immigrants who the right accuses of siding with Hamas, the group that perpetrated the October 7 mass murder in Israel. It’s a trend that is setting off alarm bells for civil liberties advocates, who warn that these proposals risk conflating support for Palestinian rights or criticism of the Israeli government with an endorsement of terrorism. Moreover, they argue, threats of deportation could have a severely chilling effect on free speech and the right to protest.