Congress Members Call for Israeli Visitors to Have Easier Entry Into U.S.

Israel's participation in Global Entry program 'would strengthen national security,' lawmakers tell Department of Homeland Security

File photo: A TSA officer checks passengers into security at LaGuardia Airport in New York, January 25, 2019.
Mike Segar/Reuters

Two Congress members called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to admit Israel into a program that allows some of its visitors expedited entry into the United States.

Democratic Rep. Grace Meng and Republican Brian Mast sent a letter Wednesday to the acting Homeland Security secretary, Kevin McAleenan, urging him to admit the Jewish state into the Global Entry program for “pre-approved, low-risk travelers.”

“Israel’s full participation in this program would grow the U.S. economy, strengthen national security at each of our borders, and increase opportunities for people-to-people exchange, which bolsters our already unique bilateral relationship,” the letter reads.

Israel has been participating in a limited pilot version of the program since 2012. In March, all 100 members of the Senate signed a letter urging the Department of Homeland Security to expedite Israel’s full membership into the program.

Thirteen countries participate in the program: Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the Netherlands, Panama, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Switzerland, Argentina and India.