REPS. ANDY OGLES AND TOM TIFFANY: Importing Gazans To The US Is Not The Answer

(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

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On Oct. 7, Americans watched in horror as Hamas terrorists – reportedly with backing from Iran – launched an unprovoked attack on innocent Israeli civilians. This terrorist attack resulted in the slaughter of over 1,400 Israeli civilians and took nearly 250 people, including U.S. citizens, hostage. That is why destroying Hamas – a group responsible for the greatest murder of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust – is a moral imperative. All nations of goodwill should support Israel in their mission to permanently defeat Hamas.

To achieve this, and with as little collateral damage as possible, Israel has worked tirelessly to ensure civilians leave the densely populated northern region of the territory with the intent that they will return once Hamas has been eradicated from the face of the earth. It is a goal that should be achieved in months, not years. 

Therefore, it is neither in Israel’s interests, nor those of its allies, to permanently relocate large numbers of Gazans far from their homes. Gazans should be temporarily sheltered in the south of Gaza, or in other countries in the region – not in Western communities. And there are many reasons why.

Over the past decade, leaders in Europe and the United States have chosen to accept large numbers of foreigners from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war-torn or terrorism-infested states in the region. They have often done so against the express wishes of the residents in the communities forced to take them in. From strains on local school systems and other social safety net programs to security risks and increased tensions associated with newcomers’ refusal to adapt to Western social and cultural norms, the costs of this mass migration have been steep.

If there’s one lesson we have learned from this experiment, it’s that the United States and other Western nations cannot effectively vet huge numbers of people coming out of these dangerous territories. In fact, there is every reason to believe that our mutual enemies will use any mass resettlement programs to advance their goals of global jihad. Not because we say so, but because Hamas and their overlords in Tehran have told us so.

This is a risk that the United States cannot and must not take.

With some notable exceptions, the political leadership of both parties in the United States have stood in principled support of Israel’s efforts to defend itself after the Hamas attack. But principle only goes so far in politics. Inevitably, if those calling for Israel’s eradication “from the river to the sea” are settled in the United States and other democracies, they will bring this ideological baggage with them. As a consequence, people seeking elected office in the receiving countries will begin to reflect those sentiments. It’s a phenomenon we have already begun to see in Europe, and to a lesser extent right here at home in the form of a small but radical group in the United States Congress. 

As many of us look on in dismay at the hate-filled, antisemitic rallies already creeping onto city streets and college campuses, the last thing policymakers ought to consider is opening the floodgates to more individuals who are likely to reject our shared values and way of life.

That is why we have introduced legislation that would prevent the Biden administration from admitting large numbers of Palestinian passport holders to the United States, or from granting those already here any form of temporary amnesty or permanent residence.

In the end, the best outcome for the United States and the people of Gaza is for Israel to succeed in rapidly liberating Gaza from Hamas – not by importing the population, prejudices, and problems of Gaza into American neighborhoods. 

Congressman Andy Ogles represents Tennessee’s Fifth District.

Congressman Tom Tiffany represents Wisconsin’s Seventh District.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.