Now that Sen. Schumer's immigration bill was passed by the United States Senate, it must pass the House of Representatives before Poland will be included in the Visa Waiver Program. The bill aims to secure America's borders, penalize employers who hire illegal immigrants, and provide a roadmap for immigrants to legally become American citizens. It would also drop the visa requirement for Poles who want to visit the United States as tourists.
The bill's lead sponsor, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer says, including Poland in the Visa Waiver Program "makes sense on the merits" and "solves inequities in the existing immigration law."
Polish Americans must speak up to ensure that this legislation passes in the House of Representatives, and that President Obama signs it. So please call or write to your Representatives and ask them to pass the immigration bill. If you don't know who your Congressman is, type your zip code into this link:
If you are not registered to vote click here.
A majority in both houses of Congress must pass this legislation before the President can sign it into law.
Here is a way you can start when you write to members of Congress:
As a Polish-American, I ask that you support the immigration bill that would boost tourism and add billions of dollars to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next decade. It would also help to include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program.
Here are bullets that you can use in your letter and please add your own:
• Poland is one of America's greatest allies and has fought for freedom in Iraq, Afghanistan and always supports the United States.
• Visa refusal rates for Poles have dropped dramatically and Poland is a productive member of NATO and the European Union, and its citizens do not need to come to the United States to find work.
• Poland is part of the "Schengen Area" of 25 European nations that allows passport-free travel across borders.
• Poles pose no terrorist threat to America, and allowing Poles to visit the United States as tourists would encourage international trade and pump tourism dollars into our economy.
• While the United States requires Poles to have visas when traveling to America, Poland waived visas for Americans 20 years ago.
• By refusing visa free travel for Poles, the United States is pushing Poland closer to other European nations that are not as friendly towards America.
• Allowing Poles to travel without visas will add to our security and enhances law enforcement and crime-fighting efforts through data-sharing agreements between our respective countries.
Don't forget to write to your Representative and Senators, because the bill must pass both houses. Please ask all your friends to write to Congress.
If all Polish-Americans speak up, Congress will not be able to ignore us.
President and Executive Director
The Kosciuszko Foundation