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Public Statements

Allowing Israeli Eligibility for Certain Visas

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BERMAN. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3992, a bill that places Israel on the list of countries eligible to receive E 2 treaty investor visas, and I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

I would like to begin by thanking Chairman Smith for his strong support of this bipartisan legislation and for moving it quickly through the Judiciary Committee and to the floor. I also want to thank, along with Chairman Smith, Chairman Gallegly and Ranking Member Lofgren of the Immigration Subcommittee, as well as Chairman Ros-Lehtinen of the Foreign Affairs Committee, for their support and authorship of this legislation.

This legislation will encourage further investment by Israeli business leaders in the United States and lead to the creation of more jobs for American workers. The scope of the legislation is narrow, but at a time when so many Americans are looking for work and families are struggling to make ends meet, every little bit helps.

Israel is one of our closest allies and a leading investor in the U.S. economy.
H.R. 3992 will further strengthen the bonds between our two countries while helping to create U.S. jobs.

There are many hundreds of Israeli companies present in the United States and hundreds of U.S. companies doing business in Israel. E 2 treaty investor visas will enable the business communities in both countries to expand their bilateral investment flow.

Currently, there are over 75 countries whose nationals are eligible for E 2 treaty investor visas. These nations range from Albania to Togo to the United Kingdom. This bill adds merely one country, which is already a significant business partner and contributor to our economic strength. We should be doing everything we can to bring additional Israeli innovations and technologies to the United States.

Israel is an incubator of entrepreneurship, already a global leader in security and defense technologies, medicine, agriculture, and clean energy. Our Nation will benefit greatly from bringing their innovations and scientific advancements to our shores; it would spur investment and introduce new products to the U.S. market.

Recently, a Tel-Aviv biotechnology company developed an advanced cell therapy product that has been used in Israel to achieve a drastic reduction of the mortality rate in patients with deep wound infections. The company invested in an FDA-approved facility in the United States that is engaged in the clinical production of cells.

This Israeli biotech company needs to temporarily transfer one of their executives to the United States to develop, direct, and to oversee local manufacturing to ensure a successful operation. An E 2 treaty investor visa would facilitate this process and allow other Israeli entrepreneurs to explore similar business opportunities with the confidence and assurance that they will be able to monitor their investments.

By passing this bill, Israeli investors are one step closer to expanding their business to our country and creating jobs for American workers. Israel is a trusted friend and a special ally, and this legislation expands business opportunities that will provide economic benefits for both countries. I urge my colleagues to support its passage.

Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the remarks of the ranking member of the Immigration Subcommittee, Ms. Lofgren, be included in the Record.


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