[Congressional Record: September 5, 2001 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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:
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
``(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
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.
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
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
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
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
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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