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March 2, 2018 1:54 pm

Unanimous US Senate Letter Calls for Admission of Israel to Fast-Track ‘Global Entry’ Program

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An El Al plane. Photo: Reuters / Arnd Wiegmann / File.

US Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) urged on Friday the Department of Homeland Security to admit Israel to the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Entry program.

Under the program, US citizens and approved citizens of select countries can quickly pass through arrivals at American airports by clearing customs at computerized booths.

In a statement, Schumer echoed a unanimous Senate letter penned earlier this week by Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and James Inhofe (R-OK).

“With the seventieth anniversary of U.S.-Israel diplomatic relations this year, it would be especially fitting to approve Israel’s membership in the Global Entry program,” Schumer said. “Israel’s full membership in the Global Entry program would be a win-win-win, as it will provide a more seamless traveling experience for travelers, contribute greatly to our economy and strengthen the bond between these two great democracies.”

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Schumer added: “It is great news that all of my colleagues in the Senate are on board with this commonsense proposal and it is my hope that the Department of Homeland Security will heed our call.”

In 2016, the US welcomed approximately 410,000 Israeli visitors, who spent $1.7 billion, ranking Israel among the top 25 largest markets for US travel and tourism exports, according to the Department of Commerce.

Along with US citizens, current passport holders from Argentina, India, Colombia, Mexico, Great Britain, Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan are eligible for Global Entry membership.

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