The American expatriate community in Israel has been roiled in recent weeks over the ongoing difficulties in obtaining US passports in Israel.
Wait times for appointments at the US Embassy in Jerusalem can be many long months. The problem is particularly acute leading up to the pre-Pesach travel season. Especially affected are parents of babies born in recent months. The inability to obtain Consular Reports of Birth Abroad and first time passports are preventing many families from traveling home to the US for Pesach.
The situation has been been further exacerbated by a new rule cancelling emergency passport appointments for newborns. Until recently, emergency passports had been a solution for families with newborns seeking to track home for Pesach.
Now, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D- CT) has issued a scathing letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. In his missive, Blumenthal expresses deep concern about the difficulties experienced by US citizens in Israel. He also questions if similar delays are affecting US citizens in other countries, as well.
Blumenthal is a prominent Democrat Senator, and his letter is expected to be taken seriously by State Department officials. Characterizing the situation as ‘unacceptable’, the Senator closes his letter by demanding a response no later than March 22.
Additionally, a group of seven bipartisan Congressmen have sent a letter to the State Department demanding answers over the ongoing crisis at the US Embassy in Israel.
US citizens in Israel are encountering inexplicable difficulties obtaining passports. These seemingly unnecessary obstacles are deeply frustrating before the Passover holiday. I am demanding that the State Department end these delays. pic.twitter.com/fD8s0wxceg
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 18, 2023
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