US visa reform for Poles under threat?
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s ambassador to the US says that proposed piecemeal changes to the country’s immigration laws could threaten Poles being included in the Visa Waiver Program.
photo - fNYC2TLV/Wikimedia Common
“The idea of dividing the bill into smaller parts is somewhat dangerous for us, because it could lead to the Visa Waiver Program being excluded [from the reforms],” ambassador Ryszard Schnepf has said.
“Not because it is controversial, but because it is not of interest to members of the House of Representatives”.
A meeting of Republicans in Washington on Thursday decided to oppose to a central plank of a Senate immigration bill which would create a route to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented workers.
"We are not going to do the Senate bill," Republican House speaker John Boehner said.
"I don't believe the internal enforcement mechanisms in the Senate bill are going to give the American people the confidence that we will stop this unlimited flow of undocumented workers coming to our country."
Some parts of the immigration bill would get support from Republicans, however.
“If there is a division of the bill [into smaller parts] this matter will drag on and there will not be a final product by the end of the year,” Ambassador Schnepf said on the prospects of Poles being able to travel to the United States without a visa.
“This would require a change of strategy,” he added.
Poland is one of only three nations in the European Union not included in the visa waiver program. (pg)