Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening remarks during a markup of H.R. 565, the Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success (AMIGOS) Act of 2019:
"H.R. 565, the Advancing Mutual Interests and Growing Our Success, or AMIGOS, Act is bipartisan legislation that would provide Portuguese nationals the ability to apply for E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas, if the government of Portugal provides a similar visa program to United States nationals.
"The E-1 "treaty trader" program provides temporary visas to individuals and employees of businesses to come to the United States to engage in substantial international trade. The E-2 "treaty investor" program provides similar visas to those who make a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise.
"The E-1 and E-2 visa programs boost our economy, by increasing trade and direct investment in the United States, and they also improve foreign relations with our allies. More than 80 countries already participate in these programs, including nearly all our foreign allies and trading partners. Yet Portugal, one of our closest and oldest allies, is not on the list.
"Portugal has been a friend of the United States for more than 220 years, with ties dating back to 1791.Today, the United States is Portugal’s largest trading partner outside the European Union, with bilateral trade in goods and services reaching $8 billion in 2018.
"H.R. 565 is a common-sense bill that would provide a means for Portuguese nationals to come to the United States to create jobs and facilitate trade and investment, while allowing U.S. nationals to do the same in Portugal.
"This bill is an uncontroversial way to help both our countries spur economic growth and job creation, while deepening our ties to one of our oldest allies.
"I congratulate the Gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Cicilline, Co-Chair of the Portuguese-American Caucus, as well as Mr. Nunes and Mr. Costa of California—for championing this bill.It is not easy these days to find common ground on immigration issues. But as a result of their efforts, our country will be more prosperous, as will Portugal.
"I thank them for introducing this bipartisan legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill."