(JTA) — Fifty-two U.S. members of Congress have signed a letter calling on the Trump Administration to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on official documents.
The letter, led by Republican Reps. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Bill Johnson of Ohio, was sent last week to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,
It asks the government to reverse the longstanding policy, challenged in court cases up to the Supreme Court, of requiring Americans born in Jerusalem to list the city with no country as their place of birth on their passport and other official documents.
In 2002, Congress passed a law requiring the State Department to record ‘Israel’ as a Jerusalem-born citizen’s birthplace on his/her passport. The State Department, under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama refused to comply with this congressional mandate
Those administrations said that a recognition of Jerusalem as being part of Israel would interfere with the United States’ ability to be an honest broker in the Middle East peace process.
The letter points out that Americans born in Taiwan are allowed to list that as their birthplace, despite the fact that the State Department recognizes Taiwan as being a part of China.