Illinois Congressman Asks Obama to Add Poland to Visa Waiver Program

Rep. Mike Quigley (D.-Ill.), a newly elected congressman from Chicago, has wasted no time in addressing a key concern of the Polish community in Illinois’ 5th district.

Last Friday, Quigley called on President Barack Obama to support Poland’s plea for inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program — a matter we reported on last week.

Poland has proven to be an indispensable ally in the global campaign against terrorism,” wrote Quigley in a press release.

Including Poland in the Visa Waiver Program will have positive security, economic, and bilateral effects.

In addition, there are thousands of Polish-Americans in my district alone who would benefit by making it easier to have a loved one visit them, not to mention the local businesses that would benefit from tourism dollars.

We owe it to a country that has stood by us, and to the people who would like to visit the United States.

Quigley, a former member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, won the special election held on April 7, 2009 to replace Rahm Emanuel after he vacated the seat in order to serve as Obama’s White House Chief of Staff.

One of Quigley’s rivals in the race was Victor Forys, a Polish immigrant who, despite the large percentage of Polish Americans in the 5th district (17% of all residents), ended up fourth in the special Democratic primary.


  1. rick

    I am unclear on the point the writer is trying to make about the Forys campaign. Dr. Forys came in fourth and beat a sitting Alderman. Any person with any knowledge of Chicago politics knows that Dr. Forys did more for the voice of Pols in Chicago then any other person in the past decade. In fact Rep. Quigley made this request as a result of conversations with Dr. Forys. He one of the few viable candidates the Polish community has for future campaigns. It is that the Polish Daily News has decided its better make a negative point rather then understand what really happened in the 5th CD special election.

  2. Yellow Dog Democrat

    == I’m actually very happy he ran for the office and I hope he won’t get discouraged in the future. ==

    I’m sure many people share your view, but its not really an appropriate one for a REPORTER to be expressing. You’re jeopardizing your journalistic integrity.

  3. harrison

    i really hope that current president barack obama do sg to help poles to meet their families.. besides that someone really special live there n she wants to come to usa!!

  4. Maciej

    I think US administration have to take some new facts into account. USA was traditionally a prime destination for Polish emigration and it is not like that anymore.

    Ratio of US dollar to Polish Zloty decreased significantly for good, recent joining to European Union openening its labour market too all age and work groups of Poles. For the last 5 years Poland has benefited hugely from the EU funds and invested a lot in infrastructure and services. It is despite “Polish Jokes” and stereotypes a modern country with educated labour force and will be the only country to have positive GDP in this economic climate.

    Not to mention the cost of flight to US and London, if there are labourers willing to pick any job, they will do it in England/Ireland with a better return on their money – a) no visa requirements, b) cost of flight, c) flights about 2h v US 8h or so.

    I personally visited USA as a student and enjoyed a great American hospitality, I am sad about the fact that US administration treat us a potential threat to their security. We have proved ourselves throught history up to the recent participation in Iraq war.

    I am planning holidays in the Carribean, unfortunately most of the cheapest flights are via US airports, that means I cannot get the most of that offer – no visa!

    There is a quickly growing middle class in Poland as a result of economic boom and USA misses out on those people due to its outdated policy.

    We are not only US ally, but also we pose no threat to US labour market as there no incentives for us to come here anymore, more profitable is UK/Ireland and other EU states.

    Why do not allow us free transit visa to stay on airport and change for the next flight.

    I do think it is ridiculous and no brainer for US administration to allow us travelling without visas ASAP.

  5. Vanessa

    Hi.I recently went with my friend (who is polish) to the us embassy in London in order to obtain a touristic visa and i was amazed of how things were organized. Well,it is obvious to say that my friend is living in the UK,and for 4 years.She is living in the same flat for 3,works and just finished her masters in public relations. We were planning to go to Hawaii for 2 weeks in December but came across with the visa issue. Since i am portuguese i didnt have a problem,however,my friend paid £80 in advance for an interview at the embassy with no assurance of obtaining a visa (which i call ripping). They also explain in an email that whether was raining or sunny the person would have to remain outside the building and could not arrive more than 30 min before interview. The staff was identified with numbers and no names and the lady who spoke to my friend even suggested that my friend was in UK ilegally. So,summarising i think the way americans treat foreigns is ridiculous and their full sense of superiority towards other nations is over the top.I understand that the 9/11 has had a major impact in the country but refusing citizens of a country whose troops fight side by side with them in Afghanistan is just sad. The american dream has died a long time ago. Needless to say my friend was denied the visa with the excuse of not beeing well established in the country and i ask myself what would she have to do to be established here. Another polish citizen who is living here and working for an airline company was also refused a visa through the same embassy.Nevertheless he reapplied for another visa in his country and was given. The question is not whether my friend is well established here but the good will and mood that the “numbered” person will be. I guess the USA dont need tourists since the dollar is so valuable at the moment…I have to say,i love Europe..

  6. Nathan tancula

    I am mad that us americans can’t accept that poles aren’t coming here anymore! Poland has a great economy now, and poles would rather go to an eu country than the states. I am also mad that my stupid congressman, peter roskam, thought that congress had no control over the visa waiver program. I’ve got alot of friends who would love to come to the usa but cant. I hate how they just let all these other eastern european countries onto the list but not poland. Wtf! Poland’s helping us in the war and we were about to put a damn missile defence system on their land. Seriously america, especially barack, realize who your friends are in the world b4 it gets too late. If i were poland, id threaten to pull out of the war unless it was put on the visa waiver list. Screw this country, im moving to poland

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