As a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the Middle East, firebrand progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said recently that the U.S. has to be ready to accept Palestinian refugees into the country.
Speaking with CNN recently, AOC was directly asked whether other Arab countries located in the Middle East should open their borders so that Palestinians who are displaced by the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel can find a place to live.
The New York Democrat responded by saying that she’d support those Arab countries allowing Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and other areas to enter their countries. But, she added that Americans also need to understand that we might need to allow refugees to establish themselves here as well.
The anchor on the CNN program asked:
“Should Arab countries be taking on the lion’s share of the burden to absorb what could be over a million, if not more, refugees from Gaza?”
“I think there’s something to be said about the region’s partners being able to support and step up for Palestinians. However, that does not abdicate the United States from our historic role that we’ve played in the world of accepting refugees and allowing people to restart their lives here.”
In the wake of Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel, and Israel’s swift response, not too many American lawmakers have come out to comment on the possibility of the U.S. accepting refugees from the region.
In addition to AOC, her fellow Democratic member of the “Squad” in the House, Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York, also said that America should “welcome” Palestinians.
Aside from those two, though, many of the leaders in the Democratic Party, including President Joe Biden, haven’t commented about it at all yet.
At the same time, Republican Representatives Andy Ogles of Tennessee and Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin sent a letter to some top officials in the Biden administration, requesting that they issue an “unequivocal public commitment” that the U.S. doesn’t have any plans to start an operation for a refugee resettlement camp for people from Gaza.
In addition, those lawmakers have introduced what they are calling the GAZA Act, which would ban the president from bringing Palestinians into the United States so they could be resettled in communities throughout the country.
Similar legislation was introduced in the upper chamber by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana.
Almost 1 million refugees have resettled in the U.S. in the last 20 years. On a five-year basis, it costs taxpayers in America almost $9 billion to set up these refugee resettlement camps, according to various research cited by a report in Breitbart News.
It costs roughly $133,000 per refugee over the course of their entire life. In addition, it’s estimated that 16% of refugees who are admitted into the U.S. eventually will need assistance with housing within five years.
And all of that assistance comes out of the pockets of American taxpayers.