from THE POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS
DOWNSTATE NEW YORK DIVISION
177 Kent St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222 - (718) 349-9689
Brooklyn, NY, April 28, 2011... "If at first you donít
succeed, try, try again." Itís an old proverb many of us heard as far back as
our days in grammar school. National President Frank Spula and the rest of the
Polish American Congress in Chicago never forgot it and keep trying and trying
to get Poland into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
Thanks to their latest effort and that of the PACíS Washington, D.C. office, there are new Visa Waiver bills now under consideration in committees of the House and the Senate.
Two key legislators in Illinois, Senator Mark Kirk (R) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D) are spearheading Visa Waiver bills along with Senator Barbara Mikulski (D) of Maryland.
Down at the grass roots level, the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress is focusing on Senator Charles Schumer (D), the only New Yorker on the Senate committee. The Downstate N.Y. Division wants to meet with Senator Schumer and get his help in pushing the new bill (S.497) out of committee and to a vote.
Hereís what they wrote to the Senator:
Dear Senator Schumer:
On behalf of the Downstate New York Division of the Polish American Congress, we would like to thank you for the many years you have dedicated to the immigration concerns of ethnic groups like ours.
We had the pleasure of personally introducing you to the guests attending the annual banquet of the Polish American Congress at the Polonaise Terrace in Brooklynís Greenpoint section more than a decade ago. It was then and there that you made it clear just how much the issue of immigration was such a priority for you.
Relying on the words of encouragement you offered us at that time, we would like to ask for your support of the most recently introduced bill S.497 which could make it possible to add Poland to Americaís Visa Waiver Program.
The Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2011 (S.497) was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski in March and is cosponsored by Sen. Mark Kirk. The bill uses different criteria than previous legislation and, under present circumstances, should be able to allow Poland to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program.
As the umbrella organization of Americaís Polish community, the Polish American Congress can cite innumerable cases in which Polandís exclusion from the Program has caused grave hardship for many of our members and their families.
Since you are a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, we would be grateful if you could do everything possible to expedite S.497 out from your committee to the floor of the Senate.
Our mutual friend, Chet Szarejko, currently serves as chairman of the Polish American Congress Political Activities Committee. He will contact your office in a few days to arrange a meeting with you and discuss this matter with you in greater depth.
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