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It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to retire our beloved Forum Detroit. It has served the Polonia Detroit for over 10 years, and was a source of joy for many. However, after many months of inactivity, the time has come to bid it farewell.
Deepest and warmest thanks to all those who contributed to Forum discussions over the years, either by sharing their thoughts or reading those of others. Your presence and participation served as a building block of this online polish community.
Kościuszko Foundation (http://www.thekf.org/)
Poland, Visas & What You Can Do
For too long, the United States has treated our friends and families in Poland as second class citizens requiring them to pay hefty fees to apply for visas to visit this country, while Europeans from other countries travel here without visas.
There is a bill in Congress that would change that. But it will only become law if you and your friends call and write to your Senators and Representatives. Otherwise, nothing will happen. If you don't know your Congressman, below is a link where you can find them using your zip code. If you are not registered to vote, another link below shows you how to register.
As part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), citizens of 36 foreign countries can travel to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa. Poland has been excluded from this because Congress changed the VWP rules for countries that have more than 3% of their citizens denied visas. At present, 9% of Poles who apply for visas to visit the United States are denied. But fewer than 3% of Poles who come to America stay longer than the 90 days allowed on their visas.
That's why a new law is needed to allow countries with an overstay rate of less than 3% to be included in the Visa Waiver Program. The Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Act of 2011 would do just that. The bill must pass both houses before President Obama can sign it.
The Bill, number H.R. 959, is sponsored in the House by Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois. These are the co-sponsors of the bill that are friendly towards Polonia: Rep. Shelley Berkley [D-NV], Rep. Brian Higgins [D-NY], Rep. Duncan Hunter [R-CA], Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D-OH], Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D-IL], Rep. William (Bill) Pascrell, Jr. [D-NJ], Rep. Jared Polis [D-CO], Rep. Janice (Jan) Schakowsky [D-IL], Rep. John Shimkus [R-IL].
The Senate Bill S.497 is sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and co-sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois.
We must convince a majority in both houses of Congress to pass this legislation before President Obama can sign it into law. Here's a link to help you find your Congressman:
Here is a way that you can start when you write and your Senators and Members of Congress:
As a Polish American, I ask that you co sponsor The Secure Travel and Counterterrorism Partnership Act of 2011, Bill number H.R.959.
(Don't forget to write another letter to your Senator which says that you want them to co-sponsor Billl S.497)
Here are some bullets that you can use in your letter, and please add some of your own:
Poland is one of America's greatest allies and has fought for freedom in Iraq, Afghanistan and always supports the United States.
Visa refusal rates for Poles have dropped dramatically and Poland is a productive member of NATO and the European Union, and its citizens do not need to come to the United States to find work.
Poland is part of the "Schengen Area" of 25 European nations that allows passport-free travel across borders.
Poles pose no terrorist threat to America, and allowing Poles to visit the United States as tourists would encourage international trade and pump tourism dollars into our economy.
While the United States requires Poles to have visas when traveling to America, Poland waived visas for Americans 20 years ago.
By refusing visa free travel for Poles, the United States is pushing Poland closer to other European nations that are not as friendly towards America.
Allowing Poles to travel without visas will add to our security and enhances law enforcement and crime-fighting efforts through data-sharing agreements between our respective countries.
Don't forget to write to your Representative and Senators, because the bill must pass both houses. Also, please ask all your friends to write to Congress as well.
The only way for Congress to respect Poland and Polonia, is if you pick up the phone, smile and dial.
And if you are not registered to vote, what are you waiting for? Congress will ignore your voice unless you are a voter. To register, click here.
If all of the Polish-American organizations work on this, we will win.
President and Executive Director
The Kosciuszko Foundation
The American Center of Polish Culture
PRESS RELEASE Kosciuszko Foundation
Dec/7/2011 212 734 2130
Visa Waiver For Poland Discussed in Congress
Kosciuszko Foundation President Storozynski's statement to Judiciary Committee
Congressman Mike Quigley, sponsor of legislation to include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program, today testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. Congressman Quigley's office asked Kosciuszko Foundation President Alex Storozynski for a letter to present a letter during the hearing to Chairman Lamar Smith. Below is the text of that letter.
Dear Congressman Smith,
Thank you for allowing representatives of the ten million Polish-Americans to express their opinions on the Visa Waiver Program, (VWP). For too long, the United States has treated our friends and families in Poland as second class citizens requiring them to pay hefty fees to apply for visas to visit this country, while Europeans from other countries travel here without visas.
American Consulates in Poland deny the same visa applicants over and over, thus driving up the visa refusal rate to an artificially high level. I personally know many educated and professional people in Poland, who could easily get visas, but are boycotting the United States and instead spend their tourist and shopping dollars in countries where they are welcome. Poland is part of the "Schengen Area" of 25 European nations that allows passport-free travel across borders.
Because Poland is a productive member of NATO and the European Union, its citizens do not need to come to the United States to find work. In fact, during the current economic crisis in Europe, Poland has been a shining example of how to keep its economy moving because it does not have the debt problems of the Eurozone. There is no real empirical evidence showing that Poles overstay their welcome in the United States at levels higher than countries such as Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and other nations that have been included in the VWP.
Poland's exclusion from the VWP is an embarrassment for Congress. Poland is one of America's greatest allies and has fought for freedom in Iraq, Afghanistan and always supports the United States. Poles pose no terrorist threat to America, and allowing Poles to visit the United States as tourists would encourage international trade and pump tourism dollars into our economy. By refusing visa free travel for Poles, the United States is pushing away one of its closest allies. Allowing Poles to travel without visas will add to our security and enhance law enforcement and crime-fighting efforts through data-sharing agreements between our respective countries. It is high time to include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program
President & Executive Director
Congressman Quigley's statement on Visa Waiver for Poland
(http://quigley.house.gov/index.php?opti … s-releases)
HELP SUPPORT THE KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION BY BECOMING A MEMBER
By becoming a Kosciuszko Foundation member, you help promote Polish culture and provide scholarships to the next generation of Polonia's leaders. But you also get special access to concerts, lectures, art exhibits, movies, as well as discounts on the Polish-English dictionary and rental space, and much, much more. The Kosciuszko Foundation is Polonia's most prestigious and effective organization.
Click Here to Join The Kosciuszko Foundation -------> http://www.thekf.org/support/membership/
The Kosciuszko Foundation 77th Annual Ball
Spring is approaching and we're preparing for our 77th annual fundraising ball to be held on April 28th at the Waldorf=Astoria. This year's Ball will be dedicated to "Polish Contributions to Science," and our honoree will be Nobel Prize-winning physicist, MIT professor Frank Wilczek.
Poles have had an astronomic impact on science. Copernicus showed the world that the earth revolved around the sun, and Maria Sklodowska-Curie is the only person to have won Nobel Prize in two separate branches of science-physics and chemistry. The list of eminent Polish scientists is quite long, and the Kosciuszko Foundation wants to make that list even longer by educating the next generation of Polish and Polish-American scientists.
In 1927, our founder Stephen Mizwa wrote to Sklodowska-Curie asking permission to establish a scholarship in her name. She wrote back and enthusiastically agreed. But those plans were put on hold during WWII and the Cold War. Now, we would like to renew Mizwa's idea to begin a Maria Sklodowska-Curie Science Scholarship.
The Kosciuszko Foundation will also establish the Collegium of Eminent Scientists to honor renowned scientists of Polish descent in the United States, to highlight and publicize their achievements, and provide a nexus of interaction with scientists in Poland. The Collegium will publicize accomplishments of its Members through the news media and the Internet, and identify, record and catalogue information about these eminent Polish-American scholars.
You can help us to achieve these goals. Join us on April 28th to dance, celebrate, socialize and network at the glamorous Waldorf=Astoria. If you cannot attend, please purchase an ad in the Ball journal and buy raffle tickets to win fabulous prizes.
And feel free to call with ideas for funding the Sklodowska-Curie Science Scholarship.
President & Executive Director
To purchase tickets to the Ball click here.
To place an ad in our Ball Journal or to sponsor a Debutante,
call: 212-734-2130 Ext. 222
The Kosciuszko Foundation
15 E 65 Street,
New York, NY 10065
Schumer says: 'Drop Visas For Poland' Polish Americans Can Make It Happen
By Alex Storozynski, President Kosciuszko Foundation
After years of broken promises from Washington, Poland finally has a chance of being included in the Visa Waiver Program thanks to Sen. Chuck Schumer. Sen. Schumer came to the Kosciuszko Foundation on Friday for a meeting with myself, Nowy Dziennik publisher Leszek Sadowski, Polish Consul Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and members of other Polish organizations to discuss his new legislation called the "Jolt Act."
"I am committed to getting this done," Schumer said during an hour and a half meeting with Polish leaders at the Kosciuszko Foundation. "But you have to work at it," he said. "This has to come from you."
When Schumer marched in New York's Pulaski Day Parade in October, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Nowy Dziennik and others brought the Visa Waiver issue to his attention and urged him to find a way to drop visas for Poland. Sen. Schumer promised to do something. He kept his word. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, Schumer took several immigration bills sponsored by various Senators and combined them into one bill.
Senators Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Mark Kirk of Illinois sponsored legislation to include Poland in the VWP. And in the House of Representatives a bipartisan collection Congressmen such as Mike Quigley, Dan Lipinski, Marcy Kaptur, and others have done the same. These bills are now part of the "Jolt Act" to boost tourism. It will add billions of dollars to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next decade. It will also cut red tape for tourists and business travelers from India, Brazil, China, and increase tourism from Canada.
But now Polish-Americans across the United States, especially those in swing states, must unite to ensure that the "Jolt Act" becomes law. We must get President Obama's attention.
When Obama was a Senator from Illinois, he told Polish-Americans that he supported Poland's inclusion in the visa waiver program. Obama's former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, made the same promise as a Congressman from Chicago. But once they got into the White House, they did nothing. And now that he's Mayor of Chicago, Emanuel wants to do away with Chicago's Pulaski Day holiday.
President Obama is wavering on his support for Poland and Polish-Americans.
I was in the White House Oval Office with other journalists on Dec. 8, 2010, when Obama met with Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski. Obama said, "I indicated to President Komorowski that I am going to make this a priority. And I want to solve this issue before very long. My expectation is, is that this problem will be solved during my presidency."
A Polish journalist asked, "So it has not been your priority in the past two years?"
Obama looked upset by the question and said, "I'm sorry, what I said was that it has been a priority and we've been continuing to work on it, but it hasn't gotten solved yet."
Obama is upset that he keeps getting this question. Trust me, Polish-Americans are more upset that we still have to ask it. It's now 2012 and this is still not a priority for Obama.
Earlier this month, after a meeting with Poland's Foreign Minster Radek Sikorski, Obama's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked about this issue and said, "I know the President pledged that this would be done before the end of his presidency, and probably that will be a little longer than the end of this year."
A little longer? Obama tells Polish-American voters to wait until after the election, while at the same time, Obama is telling the Russians that things will be better for them after the election as well. This week, unaware that the cameras were rolling, Obama told Russian President Medvedev: "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it's important for him [Putin] to give me space. This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."
Flexibility? Talk about political gymnastics. What a backflip. The Russian judge gave Obama a score of 10!
Not since the 1945 Yalta Conference has an American President been so willing to sacrifice Poland to the Kremlin's sphere of influence.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Obama's open mike comments about missile defense referred to Poland. That's where these missiles were to go in the first place. Poland has been a thorn in Moscow's side for centuries. That's why there are now 10 million Polish Americans in the United States, because Russian dictators harassed our ancestors for centuries.
In 1791, Poland passed the first democratic Constitution in Europe and Russia was upset. In 1920, Poland won a war against the Soviet Union to stop the spread of Communism in Europe and Russia was upset. In the 1980s, Poland's Solidarity movement brought down the Russian empire, and today Poland is part of NATO and the EU. So of course Putin is upset. That's why Russia built a pipeline under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany to avoid Poland.
Obama studied international relations at Columbia University, so he knows the history. And he obviously knows the present state of affairs. Today, because the United States has no embassy in Damascus, Poland represents U.S. interests in Syria. But at the same time, Russia is vetoing efforts to stop the massacre of Syrians by the Assad regime. So why is Obama playing games with Poland, a staunch U.S. ally, while Russia allows the murder of innocent Syrians to continue?
Enough is enough. Obama received 56% percent of the Polish-American vote in 2008, to McCain's 44%. The swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania have very large Polish populations. And don't forget the 430,000 Polish-Americans in Florida. Obama won those states in 2008. Without them this time around, Obama's campaign is in trouble.
Instead of worrying about Putin's flexibility, Obama must worry that Polish-American voters are no longer flexible on visas.
The Polish American Congress has been pushing the visa waiver issue for a decade. But clearly they need help. That is why all Polish organizations across the United States must rise up to demand that visas for Poland be dropped - especially those in the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The Polish community in Baltimore and Chicago persuaded Senators Mikulski and Kirk and Reps. Quigley and Lipinski to sponsor the original legislation on visa waiver. And now the Polish community in New York has gotten the attention of Sen. Schumer, and he has sponsored the Jolt Act.
We need all Polish organizations across America to get involved in this fight. We need: Gen. Rowny's American Polish Advisory Council; Michigan's PIAST Institute; The Orchard Lake Schools in Michigan; The Polish Falcons of Pittsburgh; The Polish Cultural Center of Philadelphia; the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America and the Polish Museum of America; The John Paul II Polish-American Cultural Center of Cleveland Ohio; The Cleveland Society of Poles; Polish Youngstown; The Polish American Club in Columbus, Ohio; The Polish Center of Wisconsin; Milwaukee's Polanki; The American Council for Polish Culture; The American Institute of Polish Culture in Miami; The Jan Karski Institute for Tolerance and Dialogue; etc. etc.,
Forward this article to all your friends and to every Polish American organization that you know and ask them to post it on their web site. All local Polish organizations should start letter writing campaigns to their Senators and Congressmen.
To find your Congressman and their e-mail address, log onto the Kosciuszko Foundation web site and type in your zip code.
http://www.thekf.org/events/poland_visa … ou_can_do/
And sign the petition at: http://dropvisasforpoland.org/en/
<Schumer says: 'Drop Visas For Poland' Polish Americans Can Make It Happen
By Alex Storozynski, President Kosciuszko Foundation>
A w Patriotycznych Rozmaitościach ani słówka o tym! Czyżby dlatego, że sen. Schumer jest Demokratą? Czy dlatego, że w na dzisiejszym programie gościł pułkownik Raczkowski, Republikanin (w dodatku, wielki działacz polonijny, prawdziwy Polak, spec od spraw rakietowych, mąż stanu i mężulek--po arabsku, "zawji"--Amelii)? A może po prostu dlatego, że sen.Schumer jest (delikatnie mówiąc) nie-naszego wyznania?
<The Polish American Congress has been pushing the visa waiver issue for a decade. But clearly they need help.>
I co w końcu to pchanie od dziesięciu lat przyniosło? Guzik. W międzyczasie (jak wiadomo z doniesień pana redaktora), prezydenta Obamy "Home Security Department" brutalnie przesłuchuje, obmacuje (coprawda, w gumowych rękawiczkach i kaloszach) i odsyła do zniewolonej ojczyzny niewinnych Polaków szukających wolności---takich jak pani Ania.
The KF Offers $9,000 in Prize Money for Chopin Competition
The Kosciuszko Foundation | firstname.lastname@example.org| http://www.thekf.org
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
Szansa dla Derek.
Darek za młody, też o tym myślałem
Dozwolone od lat 16 - tu