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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: September 5, 2001 (House)]
[Page H5357]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr05se01-89]  
 
PROVIDING WORK AUTHORIZATION FOR NONIMMIGRANT SPOUSES OF TREATY TRADERS 
                          AND TREATY INVESTORS

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 2277) to provide for work authorization for 
nonimmigrant spouses of treaty traders and treaty investors.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 2277

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. WORK AUTHORIZATION FOR SPOUSES OF TREATY TRADERS 
                   AND TREATY INVESTORS.

       Section 214(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1184(e)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(6) In the case of an alien spouse admitted under section 
     101(a)(15)(E), who is accompanying or following to join a 
     principal alien admitted under such section, the Attorney 
     General shall authorize the alien spouse to engage in 
     employment in the United States and provide the spouse with 
     an `employment authorized' endorsement or other appropriate 
     work permit.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Wexler) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner).

                             General Leave

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and include extraneous material on H.R. 2277.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Wisconsin?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, today the House is likely to approve, for the fourth 
and fifth time this year, pro-family, pro-immigrant legislation that we 
have crafted in the Committee on the Judiciary. This body can be proud 
of the work it has done upholding the Nation's tradition of welcoming 
immigrants to our shores in a responsible manner.
  This particular bill, H.R. 2277, would allow spouses of E visa 
recipients to work in the United States while accompanying the primary 
visa recipients.
  E visas are available for treaty traders and investors. A visa is 
available to an alien who ``is entitled to enter the United States 
under and in pursuance of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and 
navigation between the United States and the foreign state of which he 
is a national . . . solely to carry on substantial trade, including 
trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the 
United States and the foreign state of which he is a national, or . . . 
solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which 
he has invested . . . a substantial amount of capital.''
  Alien employees of a treaty trader or treaty investor may receive E 
visas if they are coming to the U.S. to engage in duties of an 
executive or supervisory character, or, if employed in the lesser 
capacity, if they have special qualifications that make the services to 
be rendered essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise. The 
alien employee would need to be of the same nationality as the treaty 
trader or investor.
  For fiscal year 1998, 9,457 aliens, including dependents, were 
granted E visas as treaty traders; and 20,775 aliens, including 
dependents, were granted E vision as treaty investors.
  While current law allows spouses and minor children to come to the 
U.S. with the E visa recipients, spouses are not allowed to work in the 
United States. Since working spouses are now becoming the rule rather 
than the exception in our society and in many foreign countries, 
multinational corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to 
persuade their employees abroad to relocate to the United States.
  Spouses, often wives, hesitate to forego their own career ambitions 
or a second income to accommodate an overseas assignment. This factor 
places an impediment in the way of the use by employees from treaty 
countries of the E visa program and their contributing to trade with 
and invest in the United States.
  There is no good reason why we should put an impediment in the way of 
the business's effort to attract talented people. There is no good 
reason why husbands and wives should have to ask their spouses to 
forego employment as a condition of joining them in America.
  Thus H.R. 2277 would simply allow the spouses of E visa recipients to 
work in the United States while accompanying the primary visa 
recipient. Families will no longer have to chose between the 
advancement of either spouse's career in order to grasp an opportunity 
to come to America.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WEXLER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2277. While current law 
allows spouses to come to the United States with E visa holders, 
spouses are not allowed to work in the United States. H.R. 2277 would 
allow these spouses work authorization in the United States while 
accompanying the E visa holder.
  It does not make any sense whatsoever to allow spouses to accompany 
their partners to the United States and then deny them the opportunity 
to be employed. Furthermore, this bill makes the time these families 
live in the United States financially easier since it allows for a 
second income.
  Madam Speaker, I hope that this bill is the beginning of an 
understanding that we should allow spouses in other nonimmigrant 
classifications who accompany their husband or wife to the United 
States to be able to obtain work authorization.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 2277.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________



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