WASHINGTON DC, February 14, 2024 - SMF welcomes President Biden's decision to grant deferred enforced departure (DED) to certain Palestinians who are present in the United States, as announced by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on February 14, 2024. This decision recognizes the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where thousands of civilians have been killed or injured by Israeli attacks since October 7, 2023, when Hamas militants launched a terrorist attack against Israel.
By granting DED, President Biden is providing a temporary safe haven to an estimated 6,000 Palestinians in the US, who would otherwise face the risk of deportation to a war-torn region. DED is a discretionary authority that allows the President to defer the removal of any foreign nationals whose return to their country of origin would pose a danger to their lives or well-being. DED also authorizes employment for eligible individuals for the duration of the deferral period.
SMF hopes that this decision will encourage other countries to follow suit and offer protection and assistance to the Palestinians in need. SMF reiterates it's call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and the unrestricted flow of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.
SMF urges President Biden to continue his efforts to end the violence and achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East, based on justice, dignity, and human rights for all. SMF also calls on the international community to support the delivery of humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of Gaza, and to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes and violated international law.
SMF stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations for freedom, self-determination, and statehood.