Missouri Attorney General joins coalition of 20 states in call to remove student visa holders supporting terrorist groups

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (Photo courtesy Missouri Attorney General's Office)

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined a coalition of 20 states in calling for the prompt removal of foreign student visa holders who are found to have endorsed terror activity or provided material support to foreign terrorist organizations.

“Missourians have watched in horror at the rise of antisemitism around the country,” said Attorney General Bailey. “These attacks pose a direct threat to Americans and their safety. The Biden Administration must enforce federal law by immediately vetting all foreign student visa holders and expelling any who are found to have endorsed or supported terrorist organizations.”

In the letter, General Bailey and the other states assert that “According to just-released FBI statistics, anti-Jewish crimes in the United States have risen sharply in the past year to the second-highest level on record. These threats have surged to what FBI Director Christopher Wray describes as a ‘historic’ level in the wake of the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. This is especially perverse given that Hamas invaded Israel and raped, tortured, burned alive, decapitated, shot, or otherwise killed 1,400 men, women, children, and babies, and that 240 who survived but could not escape were forcibly kidnapped and still remain captive in Gaza.”

Since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, college campuses have become a glowing hotbed of antisemitic activity. Threats of violence against Jewish students and people are also rising. This comes at a time when the Students for Justice in Palestine, a group linked to both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad—two entities designated by the U.S. Department of State as “foreign terrorist organizations”—issued a “call to action” asking its college chapters to hold demonstrations on campuses across the country.

In the letter, the attorneys general note that the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that “[a]ny alien who … endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization” is “ineligible to receive [a] visa and ineligible to be admitted to the United States.” 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(i)(VII). Additionally, anyone who “knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so” commits a federal crime. 18 U.S.C. 2339B(a)(1).

The attorneys general conclude, “Therefore, in light of the recent, disturbing surge of antisemitic activity and threats of violence, we ask the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to vigorously renew vetting of foreign student visa holders and promptly remove any who are found to have endorsed or espoused terrorist activity or provided material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”

Joining Attorney General Bailey in sending the letter are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The full letter can be read here.

(Photo courtesy Missouri Attorney General’s Office)