Democrat Dodges Explanation for Opposing GOP Immigration Bill

Monica Tranel, a Democrat aiming to unseat Montana Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke in the state’s election next year, griped publicly about her GOP opponent’s bill to suspend Palestinian immigration into the United States amid the war in Israel but refused to explain her perspective on the matter.

Ryan Zinke’s Safeguarding Americans from Extremism Act (SAFE) would deem any foreign national with a Palestinian Authority (PA) passport or PA-granted travel document inadmissible to the United States. The legislation would also obstruct DHS from granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and asylum or refugee status to PA passport holders.

“Ryan Zinke, in a disgusting display of Islamophobia, just introduced a bill to expel Palestinians from the U.S. who are here legally. We don’t have a choice. We must defeat him in November,” Tranel wrote in an X post last week.

When the Montana Democrat was asked to explain why she believes the bill is a disgusting move and where she stands on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East while most representatives express support for Israel, the Democrat did not respond.

Fox questioned Tranel on whether she would have voted for the bipartisan Israel aid package that passed the House, if she supported a ceasefire in the Middle East, or whether she supported Zinke’s suggestion for tighter sanctions on Iran and a ban on funds going to Iranian and Palestinian organizations. Once again, Tranel did not respond.

Zinke told Fox News, “This bill looks and is a very, very hard and harsh bill. Absolutely. And I said from the very, very beginning, I don’t think you’ll find a more stringent bill on the Gaza region than this. What has drawn us to this is that this administration has failed in every previous account or two that has come in this country.”

Tranel is running in Montana’s First Congressional District race, the same seat she ran for and lost in the 2022 midterms against now-incumbent Zinke.

According to Customs and Border Protection statistics, 169 individuals on the FBI terror watch list were encountered at the southern border over the last 12 months, up from 98 in Fiscal Year 2022.

In September alone, border officials apprehended 18 individuals on the FBI’s terror watch list.

Heritage Foundations Director of Border Security and Immigration Center, Lora Ries, sounded the alarm after Hamas’ initial attack on Israel.

“When you combine 1.7 million with the 7.4 million CBP has encountered, we have to assume that the sleeper cells of terrorists are here inside the U.S., and Congress needs to wake up and pre-empt,” Ries stated.

Members of Congress and presidential candidates have raised concerns about potential threats at U.S. borders and called for restrictions on Palestinians entering the country, citing the 2.48 million encounters at the southern border in Fiscal Year 23 alone and the ongoing terrorist attacks on Israel.

Republican Montana senator Steve Daines has also expressed his concern regarding the possibility of terrorists entering the US via the southern border. 

Daines, at the weekly Republican Senate Leadership press conference, said, “The idea of a potential terror attack occurring in the United States is no longer just a what-if, it’s a when. With a war in the Middle East emboldening violent extremists and a wide-open southern border, we are more and more vulnerable to attacks on our soil right here at home.”