AR Briefly

Arkansas AG calls for removal of foreign student visa holders supporting terrorist groups

By: - November 8, 2023 5:01 pm
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, left, gestures during a news conference at the Arkansas Capitol. (John Sykes/Arkansas Advocate)

Arkansas’ attorney general led a coalition calling on federal officials to remove student visa holders who support terror activity from groups like Hamas.

Attorney General Tim Griffin on Wednesday sent a letter on behalf of 20 state attorneys general to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas asking them to “vigorously renew vetting of foreign student visa holders” and remove anyone who has endorsed terrorist activity or provided “material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”

“Antisemitism and anti-Israel activity are unwelcome in Arkansas,” Griffin said in a statement. “Threats of violence against Jews are anathema to our American values and all who respect human dignity.”

Arkanasas AG Foreign Student Visa Letter


Griffin said college campuses have become a “glowing hotbed of antisemitic activity” since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Griffin cited the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Chapters of the pro-Palestinean group at a number of colleges and universities across the U.S. have come under fire for rhetoric seen as “anti-Israel” and, in some cases, in support of terror groups, like Hamas. 

“As state attorneys general, we are concerned that foreign students admitted to colleges in the United States on student visas may be supporting terrorist activity through membership in SJP and are ineligible to hold a student visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” Griffin said. “Therefore, in light of the recent, disturbing surge of antisemitic activity and threats of violence, we ask the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to vigorously renew vetting of foreign student visa holders and promptly remove any who are found to have endorsed or espoused terrorist activity or provided material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”

Griffin was joined in his letter by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.


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Antoinette Grajeda
Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda is a multimedia journalist who has reported since 2007 on a wide range of topics, including politics, health, education, immigration and the arts for NPR affiliates, print publications and digital platforms. A University of Arkansas alumna, she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a master’s degree in documentary film.