Passengers sitting inside an airplane [illustrative].
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Congresspeople urge Homeland Security to add Israel to Global Entry program
United States representatives Grace Meng (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL) on Wednesday submitted a letter signed by 73 other members of Congress to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan urging him to expand the Global Entry program to Israel.
“We write to you today, to ensure that the benefits that Global Entry promises to US tourism, to our country’s national security, and to the US-Israel relationship are realized,” the letter said.
The Global Entry program allows expedited entry to the United States for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon their arrival in the U.S. Current participants of the program include: Australia, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the Netherlands, Panama, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Switzerland, Argentina, and India.
Since 2012, Israel has participated in a limited pilot program for Global Entry.
“The United States’ relationship with Israel is critically important to both countries and global security,” said Mast. “A long list of our allies already benefit from full participation in Global Entry and there’s no doubt that Israel should be added to strengthen security at our border and theirs, as well as increase opportunity for cultural and economic exchange.”
In their letter, Mast and Meg said that according to the U.S. Travel Association, visits from Israel to the United States have averaged 418,000 people per year for the past three years and that Israeli travelers account for $1.2 billion in spending annually, with an average $4,000 in personal spending per trip.
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