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Brooklyn, N.Y., May 4, 2011 … The Polish American Congress (PAC) push for two new bills to get Poland into America’s Visa Waiver Program gained more momentum when another member of Congress joined in as an additional co-sponsor.

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D) from New York’s 12th Congressional District agreed to become the tenth co-sponsor of the “Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2011” H.R. 959, according to information her local office gave the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress.

Her 12th Congressional District includes the heavily-Polish Greenpoint section of Brooklyn and parts of Ridgewood and Maspeth.  Together they represent the largest concentration of Polish American voters on the East Coast.

Under the chairmanship of Vincent Brunhard, Jr., the PAC’s Downstate Division’s Visa Waiver Committee first brought the visa problem to Rep. Velazquez’s attention more than six years ago and gained her support for the legislation proposed in Congress at that time.

Unfortunately, Poland was unable to qualify when Congress changed the rules to exclude any country which had more than 3% of its applicants rejected by the U.S.

Through the efforts of the Polish American Congress in Chicago, two key members of the Illinois Congressional delegation are in the forefront of the two new bills.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D) sponsored H.R. 959 in the U.S. House of Representatives while Sen. Mark Kirk (R) added his name as co-sponsor of the Senate version S.497 whose sponsor is Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Political action is one of the main objectives of the Downstate N.Y. Polish American Congress, according to Mr. Brunhard.  “Poland belongs in the Visa Waiver Program and we intend to do everything we can to make sure it gets there,” he said.

Frank Milewski
       (516) 352-7125

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