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The Visa Waiver Program is not an immigration bill. It is a jobs and tourism bill that will have a positive impact on our current economic and employment challenges. The security and commercial advantages we would gain from bringing Poland into the program have persuaded the White House that we need to act: President Barack Obama promised in 2010 that he would make it a priority to abolish visas for Poles. He reiterated his promise during his Warsaw visit last year and has lent his support to bipartisan legislation to extend the program to Poland.
Now, Congress must act. Legislation has now been introduced in both the Senate and the House. Itís time for Congressional leadership to move ahead with this long-overdue measure. By expanding the Visa Waiver Program, Congress will be both recognizing a crucial U.S. ally and supporting job creation here at home.
Letís add to the program the country of Polish-American patriot Thaddeus Kosciuszko, charismatic Pope John Paul II and fearless champion of liberty Lech Wałęsa. Letís enable this generation of Polish tourists to see firsthand all our country has to offer, while also contributing to our future.
Tad Taube, honorary consul for the Republic of Poland in the San Francisco Bay Area, is president of the Koret Foundation and chairman of Taube Philanthropies.