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DeSantis says US shouldn’t take in refugees from Gaza: ‘I am not going to do that’

2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says the U.S. should not accept any refugees from Gaza, just as the area is seeing significant humanitarian displacement.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the U.S. should not be receiving any refugees from Gaza in light of the Hamas terror attack against Israel, after at least one left-wing Democrat suggested it.

"I will say, and I don’t know what Biden’s going to do, but we cannot accept people from Gaza into this country as refugees," DeSantis, who is running for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, said on Saturday. "I am not going to do that."

DeSantis was speaking a week after the Hamas terror attack against Israel that killed over 1,300 Israelis. Israel has since launched a counterattack against Hamas in Gaza, sparking a significant displacement of the population. The United Nations has said that more than 423,000 Gaza citizens have been displaced. 


The U.S., under the Biden administration, has expanded refugee resettlement from a cap of 18,000 during the Trump administration to 125,000 now — although it did not come close to reaching that cap last year. Of the FY 2024 allocation, 30,000-45,000 is allocated for refugees from the Near East and South Asia.

The humanitarian situation has led to some concerns from Republicans that refugees from Gaza could end up in the United States. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-NY, told the New York Post the U.S. should be open to accepting refugees from the area.

"Fifty percent of the population in Gaza are children. The international community as well as the United States should be prepared to welcome refugees from Palestine while being very careful to vet and not allow members of Hamas," he told the outlet.

An administration official told Fox News Digital this week that the U.S. "supports safe passage for civilians" and provides support to Palestinian refugees through support to the U.N, including the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) while also engaging in a "worldwide refugee resettlement program" in partnership with the U.N.


But DeSantis cited anti-Israeli views from the area as a reason they shouldn’t be allowed into the U.S.

"If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they’re all anti-Semitic, none of them believe in Israel’s right to exist, none of the Arab states are willing to take any of them," he said. "The Arab states should be taking them if you have refugees, you don’t fly people and import them into the United States of America."

He also noted the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel protests that have taken place in the U.S., as well as in other Western countries.

"My view is very simple: If you don't like this country, if you hate America, you should not come to this country, we’ve got to start being smart about this."

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