Polish American Congress
New Jersey Division
The Voice of a Million Americans of
Polish Heritage in the Garden State
LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO INCLUDE
POLAND IN VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania introduced legislation on
Thursday, February 10, 2005, which would include Poland in the Visa Waiver
Program. Co-sponsoring the bill is Maryland?s Senator Barbara Mikulski.
At his press conference, Senator Santorum said that his bill is
identical to the one he introduced in September 2004 which did not pass as
it did not clear the Democratic side. He is optimistic that this time it
will pass due to the growing support in the U.S. House of Representatives
and with the public support of the Bush Administration.
When asked the reason for his motivation in introducing the Bill for
including Poland in the Visa Waiver Program, he thanked the Polish
American constituency in Pennsylvania that contacted his office and for
bringing it to his attention. He added that Poland is a staunch ally and
friend of the U.S. in international affairs. Senator Santorum concluded by
saying that Poland has an improving economy, an emerging democracy and
should be treated as the other democracies in Europe.
Participating in the conference call was Polish American Congress
National Executive Director, Les Kuczynski. The Polish American Congress
was instrumental in having Senator Santorum introduce his bill and for
Senator Mikulski joining as a co-sponsor.
Earlier this week, two bills were introduced in the U.S. House of
Representatives which would include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program.
Connecticut Congresswoman Nancy Johnson reintroduced her bill which is
identical in language with Senator Santorum?s bill. A different version
was introduced by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Houston
which would provide for a contingency step to help Poland meet the 3%
overstay rate. Congressman Dan Lipinski of Chicago is a co-sponsor of both
bills. Illinois Congressman Shimkus is co-sponsoring the Johnson bill.
Polish American Congress President Edward J. Moskal was encouraged by
the action in the U.S. Congress as are the PAC State Divisions in
Pennsylvania (in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) who supported Senator
Santorum in his legislation. Polish American Congress divisions in
Massachusetts and New Jersey were instrumental in having Resolutions
passed by the State Legislatures in Vermont, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Additional Resolutions are pending in other states.
The PAC will actively participate in the legislative ?roadmap? as it
will be announced in the not too distant future. The Polish American
community will be able to help further this process.
Brings Fairness for Polish Visitors
Reintroduces Polish Visa Waiver Act
Introduces Bill for Conditional Visa Waiver
Hart Meets with