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Letter urges Biden administration to include Israel in visa waiver

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of House members sent a letter on Monday to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, urging them to add Israel to the Visa Waiver Program. Representatives Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), Kathleen Rice (D, NY-4), Michelle Fischbach (R, MN-7), Grace Meng (D, NY-6), Brian Mast (R, FL-18) and Elaine Luria (D, VA-2) spearheaded the letter, and additional 52 members joined it.

“We write to you in support of Israel’s participation in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens and nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa,” the lawmakers wrote.

“We are encouraged by Secretary Mayorkas’ remarks last month confirming that Israel is in the “pipeline” to be added to the program,” they noted. “These remarks follow a bilateral meeting in August between President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, where Israel’s participation in the VWP was discussed.”

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