Rep. Maloney Led Letters With Colleagues to House Leadership in Support of Polish Visa Waiver Program

Sep 24, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) led two letters that were sent today to House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both of which express support for extending the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to Poland as a provision of any reform package in the House. The letter was also signed by Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-5), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-4), Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Rep. Bill Keating (MA-9).

The VWP to Poland would allow Polish nationals who are visiting the United States to stay for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.  Globally, 37 countries are included in the VWP, but Poland is one of only 3 countries in the European Union not to belong to the program. The Members of Congress who signed the letter strongly believe that extending the VWP to Poland will benefit tourism, commerce and further goodwill between the U.S. and Poland.

Full Text of the Letters:

September 23, 2013
Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and Minority Leader Pelosi:


We are writing to express our strong support for extending the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to Poland as a provision to any immigration reform package that comes before the House. This program was extended in the Senate's recently passed Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.


As you know, the Visa Waiver Program permits nationals from certain countries who are traveling to the United States for tourism or business to stay for ninety days or less without obtaining a visa. Currently, 37 countries are included in the VWP. Of the European Union nations, Poland is one of only three nations to not belong to the program.


Poland is a long-time ally of the United States, sharing in our morals and principles as a nation. Since becoming a democratic nation in 1989, Poland has made incredible strides in developing its economy and building strong relationships throughout the world. Poland's membership in NATO and the European Union is further evidence of securing itself as a major player on the global stage. In addition, Poland's military in the United Nations' peacekeeping forces play a critical role in the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2011, there were 18.3 million visitors who came to the United States through the VWP, approximately 40% of all overseas visitors. By expanding the VWP to Poland, we benefit as a country through increased tourism, commerce and business opportunities, and overall goodwill with our ally. We look forward to working with you to extend this critical program.

Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress

Mike Quigley
Member of Congress

Jan Schakowsky
Member of Congress

Luis V. Gutierrez
Member of Congress

Brian Higgins
Member of Congress

William R. Keating
Member of Congress