Berrios Pushes Resolution to Include Poland in Federal Travel Waiver Program

CHICAGO — An Illinois House resolution filed by State Rep. Maria Antonia “Toni” Berrios would urge Congress to include Poland

in the federal Visa Waiver Program.


 On Tuesday, House Resolution 717  moved out of Rules Committee to the International Trade & Commerce Committee. Berrios is working to get the resolution on an expedited schedule.


“This is a resolution that I will work tirelessly to get passed by the General Assembly,” said Berrios, who represents the 39th legislative district. “Illinois has one of the largest Polish populations of any state, yet we make it more difficult for people to travel here from Poland. These are not second-class citizens, and shouldn’t be treated as such.”


The Visa Waiver Program is a federal program which allows citizens of 36 countries to travel the the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.


Currently, any resident of Poland traveling to the United States must endure a lengthy and costly process to obtain a visa.


Expansion of the Visa Waiver Program would not only lift unnecessary travel barries, but bring increased revenue to the travel industry at a time when our nation’s economy needs it the most. According to federal reports, countries in this program generate over 16 million visits to the United States, Berrios sai


“It is beyond unfair that Poland still has travel restrictions when nearly every other European country has been waived,” Berrios said. “It is one of the few major democratic allies excluded from the federal waiver program. We have over 1 million people of Polish descent in Chicago. They are our friends, neighbors, business owners, and co-workers. Passing this resolution is the least we can do for them.”