SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, urging the Biden Administration to “vigorously renew vetting of foreign student visa holders and promptly remove anyone who has endorsed or espoused terrorist activity or provided material support to foreign terrorist organizations.” The letter, which was led by the State of Arkansas, was signed by eighteen additional states.
The letter to Secretaries Blinken and Mayorkas describes the concerning pattern of demonstrations in many cities across the United States supporting Hamas and opposing Israel’s efforts to defend itself against acts of terror. In their letter, the coalition of attorneys general highlight the “surge of Antisemitic threats on university campuses” and explain that “supporting terrorism is grounds for removal and violates federal law.”
In the letter, the States quoted a message by President George Washington to the Hebrew congregation at Newport, Rhode Island, in which President Washington stated that “[t]he Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance[,] requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support,” with the goal that “every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.” The attorneys general reaffirmed that this “principle still applies today,” adding that “those who live under the protection of the United States government, including holders of student visas, must respect the basic rights of all to be free from the threat of terrorism.”
Joining Utah and Arkansas as signatories to this letter were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.