|Emanuel Urges Poland Inclusion in Visa Waiver Program |
12/8/2006 - Emanuel Urges Poland Inclusion in Visa Waiver Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Today, U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel
(D-IL), released the following letter to President Bush expressing his
strong support for including Poland in the Visa Waiver program. Emanuel sent
the same letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Following is text of the letter:
Dear President Bush:
I was pleased to hear your remarks at the 2006 NATO Summit when you stated,
"I am going to work with our Congress and our international partners to
modify our visa-waiver program." I agree with this important goal, and I am
writing today to express my strong support for including Poland in this
It is vital for the United States to ensure the safety and security of the
Visa Waiver Program. Equally important, we must ensure that we do not treat
our proven allies as second-class citizens. We must be responsive to those
who seek to immigrate to this country by legal means, and those who wish to
visit their families in the United States from countries that have been our
strong allies, such as Poland.
In 2005, President Kwasniewski agreed to the Roadmap for Poland, a series of
steps each nation will take to fulfill the goal of Poland entering the Visa
Waiver Program, including working together to improve the security of the
During the 109th Congress, I introduced H.Res 78 to recognize the importance
of designating Poland as a Visa Waiver Program country. H.Res 78 recognizes
the vast contributions Polish immigrants have made to our culture and
society, and it assists those who seek to visit our country and also those
who wish to visit their families. Similar legislation regarding Poland and
the Visa Waiver Program has been introduced and passed by six state
legislatures. I plan on reintroducing my resolution in the next Congress.
It is important to note that Poland joined other European leaders in signing
a letter of support for our efforts in disarming Iraq. In fact, over the
last three years of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Poland has demonstrated strong
support for the foreign policy goals of the United States, committing
thousands of troops and providing considerable resources to the war effort.
Including Poland in the Visa Waiver Program is in our economic, political
and national security interests and demonstrates our continued commitment to
our strong Polish allies.
I look forward to working with you to achieve this goal.
Member of Congress