AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
Joe Biden

“This looks like a massive watering down of our immigration restrictions against members of terrorist organizations,” said former U.S. State Department special adviser Gabriel Noronha.

By United with Israel Staff

Last week, the U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), altered federal immigration law so that non-citizens who provided “insignificant material support” to designated terror groups are now eligible to receive “immigration benefits or other status” in the United States.

The change was reported by the Washington Free Beacon, citing a policy published in the Federal Register, which is the official journal of the U.S. federal government. The Beacon noted that the policy had not been formally announced by the administration.

“Examples of individuals who would fall into the new category, according to the announcement, include individuals who provided ‘humanitarian assistance’ or ‘routine commercial transactions’ to terror groups,” reported the Free Beacon.

According to the report, the Biden administration has made it “easier for individuals who have worked with designated terrorist groups to legally enter the United States.”

Speculation with regard to the agenda fueling the change in policy pointed to potential overtures by the Biden administration to individuals associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a designated terror group responsible for the deaths of Israelis, Americans, and citizens of other nations around the world.

Iran remains the world’s top state-sponsor of terrorism, in addition to the primary source on instability in the Middle East, directing and arming terror proxy armies in Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip.

“A State Department spokesman said the law was amended to help vulnerable Afghans, who might have inadvertently worked with terror groups, gain refuge in the United States following the Biden administration’s bungled withdrawal that left the Taliban in power,” reported the Free Beacon.

The new regulations, however, could apply to other terror groups, such as al Qaeda.

The Free Beacon report quoted Gabriel Noronha, a former State Department special adviser for Iran now serves as a fellow with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America

“This looks like a massive watering down of our immigration restrictions against members of terrorist organizations,” concluded Noronha.

According to the State Department, the changes “are an effort to address issues related to Afghanistan” and don’t apply “to people who have received military-type training from [foreign terrorist organizations], including IRGC conscripts.”

“When the Free Beacon requested additional information and an explanation as to why the IRGC or similar groups would not be covered by the changes, the State Department declined to answer, saying, ‘We have no further information or comments to share.’ This lack of clarity is fueling concerns about the policy change,” added the Free Beacon report.

“At best this is a horribly written regulation. At worst, it’s an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of Congress and the American people and make it easier for terrorists to come to America,” Noronha concluded.

A host of other experts quoted in the Free Beacon report, including former White House National Security Council advisor Richard Goldberg and several Republican lawmakers, rang alarms over the new regulation based on their potential to help individuals linked to Iranian terror groups.