Richmond, Va. — Attorney General Jason Miyares joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas 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.
“The terrorist attack on Israel cannot be justified or rationalized. Supporting or endorsing the terrorist organizations who committed the acts is not only immoral, but un-American and peddles dangerous misinformation. Foreign student visa holders endorsing or supporting terrorist organizations do not deserve the privilege and opportunity provided to them,” says Attorney General Miyares.
In part, the letter stated:
The Surge of Antisemitic Threats on University Campuses
In 1790 the Hebrew congregation at Newport, Rhode Island, wrote to President George Washington to express gratitude for the newfound “Blessings of civil and religious liberty” that the Jewish inhabitants enjoyed in the United States.
Sadly, times have changed, and the States of Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia are concerned about the alarming rise of antisemitic threats in the United States. 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.
Growing antisemitic activity was a concern at universities in the United States before Hamas’s October 7 terror attack. But campuses have now become a glowing hotbed of antisemitic activity and threats of violence against Jewish people.
For example, the national chapter of a group calling itself Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) described Hamas’s attack as “a historic win for the Palestinian resistance.” SJP issued a “call to action” asking its college chapters to demonstrate, and more than 20 chapters responded, spearheading anti-Israel activity on campuses across the country. That group is linked to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The U.S. Department of State has designated those two organizations, as well as related groups including the Palestine Liberation Front and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, as “foreign terrorist organizations.”
In light of the recent, disturbing surge of antisemitic activity and threats of violence, we ask that you 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.