Dear Members and Friends of the Polish American Community:


PACongress April 2011 – After years of continued hard work of the Polish American Congress on the federal and state levels of government in the matter of securing the admission of Poland to the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP), our effort has attracted key members of the Illinois Congressional delegation in Washington, DC – notably, Senator Mark Kirk (R) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D) – who pledged to spearhead bipartisan legislation to include Poland in the Program.


As the result, two corresponding bills, sharing the same title of:  “Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2011”, were introduced in both chambers of the U.S. Congress: H.R. 959 sponsored by Rep. Quigley in the U.S. House of Representatives, and S. 497 sponsored by Sen. Mikulski (D-MD) in the Senate. Both bills were then forwarded to the respective committees on the Judiciary.


The aim of the bill is to update and modernize the VWP requirements by setting the overstay rate (rather than the refusal rate, as it is practiced

now) as the main criterion for country’s legibility and membership in the Program.


This development creates a golden opportunity for all members of American Polonia as well as friends of our community to work on, especially with their respective Congressional delegations in ensuring a passage of the bill.


We must not allow our golden opportunity to become a lost opportunity. Only through concerted and energetic political action on the part of all members of our Community can the golden opportunity translate into success.


To this end, a strong effort is urgently needed to saturate, by phone, letters and the Internet, the Congressional delegations of ALL states. In particular, we ask you to:

  1.     Concentrate on those Representatives and Senators from your state who also serve on the Committee of the Judiciary (lists provided below) and urge them to support the bill and ensure that legislation’s successful referral „out of Committee” for a vote on the floor of both houses.

  2.     If your Representative and/or Senators are not in the Committee to which the bill was referred, please urge them strongly to support the bill by becoming its co-sponsor (if they are not already), AND

  3.     Urge your Representatives and Senators to vote for the passage of the bill when it comes for a vote.

  4.     In addition, please make sure to express your gratitude to those Legislators who already took action. They would like to hear from you and will appreciate your support.




H.R.959 : Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2011

Sponsor: Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL] (introduced 3/8/2011) Cosponsors (As of April 13, 2011)

   Representative Berkley, Shelley [NV-1]

   Representative Higgins, Brian [NY-27]

   Representative Hunter, Duncan D. [CA-52]

   Representative Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9]

   Representative Lipinski, Daniel [IL-3]

   Representative Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-8]

   Representative Polis, Jared [CO-2]

   Representative Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9]

   Representative Shimkus, John [IL-19]

Latest Action: 3/21/2011 Referred to the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.


Members of the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement (U.S. House of Representatives):

 Rep. Elton Gallegly  (R) California, 24t, Chairman       Phone: (202) 225-5811

Rep. Steve King (R) Iowa, 5th, Vice-Chairman            Phone: (202) 225-4426

Rep. Dan Lungren (R) California, 3rd               Phone: (202) 225-5716

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D) California, 16th              Phone: (202) 225-3072

Rep. Maxine Waters (D) California, 35th           Phone: (202) 225-2201

Rep. Dennis Ross (R) Florida, 12th                            Phone: (202) 225-1252

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) South Carolina, 4th                   Phone: (202) 225-6030

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) Texas, 1st                            Phone: (202) 225-3035

Rep. Ted Poe (R) Texas, 2nd                                    Phone: (202) 225-6565

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D) Texas, 18th          Phone: (202) 225-3816

Rep. Pedro Pierluisi (D) Puerto Rico, Resident Commissioner Phone: (202)



 S.497: Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Program Act of 2011

Sponsor: Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [D-MD] (introduced 3/7/2011) Cosponsors (As of April 13, 2011)

   Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL]

Latest Action: 3/7/2011 Referred to Senate Committee on the Judiciary.


 Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary:

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman, D-Vermont     Phone: (202) 224-4242

Sen. Jon Kyl R-Arizona                                   Phone: (202) 224-4521

Sen. Jeff Sessions R-Alabama                         Phone: (202) 224-4124

Sen. Dianne Feinstein D-California                   Phone: (202) 224-3841

Sen. Richard Blumenthal D-Connecticut  Phone: (202) 224-2823

Sen. Christopher A. Coons D-Delaware   Phone: (202) 224-5042

Sen. Dick Durbin D-Illinois                    Phone: (202) 224-2152

Sen. Chuck Grassley Ranking Member, R-Iowa  Phone: (202) 224-3744

Sen. Amy Klobuchar D-Minnesota          Phone: (202) 224-3244

Sen. Al Franken D-Minnesota                          Phone: (202) 224-5641

Sen. Chuck Schumer D-New York                    Phone: (202) 224-6542

Sen. Tom Coburn R-Oklahoma                       Phone: (202) 224-5754

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse D-Rhode Island        Phone: (202) 224-2921

Sen. Lindsey Graham R-South Carolina   Phone: (202) 224-5972

Sen. John Cornyn R-Texas                    Phone: (202) 224-2934

Sen. Michael S. Lee R-Utah                    Phone: (202) 224-5444

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch R-Utah                             Phone: (202) 224-5251

Sen. Herb Kohl D-Wisconsin                            Phone: (202) 224-5653


 It is absolutely crucial that you contact both your Representative AND your Senators to express your support for the bills.


Finally, please make sure to encourage your family and friends as well as friends of Polonia to do the same and also contact their representatives in Washington in support of Poland’s membership in the Visa Waiver Program.


Together we can finally make it happen but we need to generate the greatest response from voters as possible.



About the bill: and enter bill number: H.R.959 or S.497 About your Representatives: or by calling (202) 224-3121 About your Senators: or by calling (202) 224-3121


Polish American Congress

1612 K Street NW, Suite 410

Washington, DC 20006

Tel.: (202) 296-6955

Fax: (202) 835-1565


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