February 14, 2024

Statement from Congressman Castro on Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s designation of Deferred Enforced Departure for certain Palestinian nationals in the United States:

"Last November, I asked President Biden to extend Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status to Palestinians in the United States. I'm relieved to see today's announcement.

"Nearly 30,000 people in Gaza - mostly women and children - have been killed since this conflict began. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prioritizes collective punishment over hostage recovery or accountability for Hamas, sending Palestinian families back to a war zone should be unfathomable.

"Israel has the right to hold Hamas accountable for the crimes of October 7, but the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians is not justice. I called for a ceasefire on October 17, and I've repeatedly pushed the Biden administration to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop the carnage in Gaza.

"Families in Gaza and Israel are suffering. Hostages are dying. Extending DED is an important step to prevent additional casualties, but we need a ceasefire now.”