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Attorney General Griffin Leads 18-State Letter Calling for President Biden to Reverse Palestinian Amnesty Policy

Griffin: ‘The President’s deferral of the removal of Palestinians is yet another effort to circumvent the Constitution’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Tim Griffin today issued the following statement announcing he has sent a letter to President Biden on behalf of 18 state attorneys general opposing the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Certain Palestinians Presidential Memorandum of February 14, 2024:

“President Biden’s deferral of the removal of Palestinians is yet another effort to circumvent the Constitution. Only Congress has the power to make rules for the admission of aliens or to exclude certain aliens—specifically those who endorse or espouse terrorist activity. We’ve seen a significant support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah this year on college campuses.

“Last November, I led a group of attorneys general in asking the Department of Homeland Security to vigorously vet foreign-student visa holders and remove anyone who has endorsed or espoused terrorist activity or provided material support to foreign terrorists. Yet President Biden has now done the opposite and ordered DHS to cease removing certain Palestinians from the country. We are asking him to reverse this mass amnesty.”

Through the Immigration and Nationality Act, Congress has created multiple avenues for the Executive Branch to protect aliens whose lives or freedoms would be threatened if they were to return to their home countries. Congress has charged DHS with enforcing these laws, and the Supreme Court has permitted it to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in so doing. DED, however, does not have a statutory basis.

Griffin is joined on the letter by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

To read the letter, click here.

For a printer-friendly version of this release, click here.

About Attorney General Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin was sworn in as the 57th Attorney General of Arkansas on January 10, 2023, having previously served as the state’s 20th Lieutenant Governor from 2015-2023. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District, where he served on the House Committee on Ways and Means, House Armed Services Committee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Ethics and House Committee on the Judiciary while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority.

Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps for more than 28 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Mosul, Iraq.

He is currently serving as the Commander of the 2d Legal Operations Detachment in New Orleans, Louisiana. His previous assignments include serving as the Commander of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment at Fort Liberty (née Bragg), North Carolina, and as a Senior Legislative Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Griffin earned a master’s degree in strategic studies as a Distinguished Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Griffin also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush; Special Assistant to Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas; Senior Investigative Counsel, Government Reform and Oversight Committee, U.S. House of Representatives; and Associate Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett, In re: HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway, and Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He attended graduate school at Oxford University. He is admitted to practice law in Arkansas (active) and Louisiana (inactive). Griffin lives in Little Rock with his wife, Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.