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Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about reports of DHS agents asking Israeli citizens applying for U.S. residence questions about their time in the Israel Defense Forces. The reported questions go beyond previous standard inquiries of applicants.

In part, Senator Cotton wrote:

“If true, this Administration is expending a disgraceful amount of time, energy, and resources in a thinly veiled attempt to ‘prove’ IDF members have committed hypothetical war crimes. Meanwhile, millions of illegal immigrants, thousands of gang members, and an unknown number of terrorists have flooded across our border.”

Full text of the letter may be found here and below.

June 20, 2024

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528         

Dear Secretary Mayorkas:

I write regarding disturbing reports that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is subjecting Israeli citizens to undue scrutiny of their military service. If true, this is yet another example of the administration’s prejudicial treatment of Israel and its citizens.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents are reportedly asking Israelis applying for permanent U.S. resident status detailed questions about their time in the Israeli Defense Forces that go far beyond previous standard inquiries.

If true, this Administration is expending a disgraceful amount of time, energy, and resources in a thinly veiled attempt to “prove” IDF members have committed hypothetical war crimes. Meanwhile, millions of illegal immigrants, thousands of gang members, and an unknown number of terrorists have flooded across our border.

Your time should be spent protecting our borders, not interrogating our allies.

  Please provide the following information no later than July 1, 2024:

  1. Provide a list of the questions that Israeli applicants for admission to the U.S. are asked about their military service, both in their initial application and any follow up interviews. Provide a detailed explanation for any changes made to these questions after October 7, 2023.
  2. How many Israeli applicants for permanent residence with prior Israeli military service have been approved for entry to the U.S. since October 7, 2023? How many applicants have been denied?
  3. How many applications for permanent residence for individuals with prior Israeli military service are currently in progress?

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Author: Press Release

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