POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS & CONTRIBUTIONS
The Polish American Congress was one of the first U.S. organizations to warn of the threat to peace and freedom posed by the Soviet Union after World War II. As a result, the United States adopted a principled set of foreign policy initiatives in NATO and the Marshall Plan, which dealt effectively with the Soviet threat from the late 1940s until the USSR’s collapse in 1991.
WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, THE POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS SUCCEEDED ON THE FOLLOWING ISSUES:
- Securing U.S. support for Radio Free Europe, a much-needed source of objective journalism that informed the people of Central and Eastern Europe about national and international developments during the Cold War era.
- Establishment of the Displaced Persons (DP) Program, which allowed approximately 150,000 Polish immigrants to enter the U.S. after WWII
- Securing permanent U.S. recognition of Poland’s post-World War II western border with Germany on the Oder/Neisse line.
- Exposing crimes committed against the Polish people – i.e. urging creation of the U.S. Congressional Commission to investigate the Katyń Forest Massacre.The Commission, formed on 1952, found the Soviet Union guilty of the massacre.
- Winning American veterans benefits for Polish veterans of WWI and WWII.
- Obtaining U.S. assistance through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to the Solidarity underground movement and during Martial Law.
- Establishment of a multi million-dollar economic assistance program through the Support East European Democracies Act (SEED Act).
- Establishment of the Polish American Enterprise Fund (PAEF).
- Establishment of the Polish American Freedom Foundation (PAFF).
- Helping obtain political asylum for refugees escaping the Communist Regime in Poland.
- Winning amnesty for undocumented aliens who entered the United States before 1979.
- Sustained leadership in advocating for Poland’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
- Forging partnership with the Swiss Fund for the Needy Victims of the Holocaust to assist those interred in concentration camps.
- Participation in negotiations that established the German Forced Labor Compensation Program
- Participation in the American Holocaust Victims Assets Program and the German Property Loss Program.
- Through the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation, cumulative contribution of over $200 million in medical and material help to Poles in the greatest need, including assistance in 1997 and 2001 to flood victims in Poland
- Continuous involvement in immigration-related legislation, e.g. 245(i) legislation, H1-B Visas, Diversity Lottery, and Immigration Reform.