Post Eagle Participates In White House Conference Call
Discussion on President’s Proposal for Immigration Reform
By John Czop
The Post Eagle accepted the White House’s invitation to participate in an on-the-record conference call with the media to discuss the President’s proposal for immigration reform. The conference call began at 1:50 p.m. and ended at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5th.
The first part of the conference call lasted 10 minutes with 30 minutes for questions from the media.
The Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz began the conference call by stating that there is a bi-partisan consensus that our immigration system is broken. She reminded us that President Obama, in his speech last week at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, outlined the four key components of his proposed immigration legislation: continuing to strengthen border security, cracking down on employers hiring undocumented workers, earned citizenship, and streamlining legal immigration. She concluded by underlining that President Obama’s purpose is to repair our broken immigration system to ensure that employers, workers, and foreign visitors will all play by the new rules. Ms. Munoz emphasized that the President’s proposal is equitable for all, and for this reason her fellow Americans should support it.
The POST EAGLE’s question for Ms. Muñoz deals with section 3 of the fourth component of the President’s proposal, “Streamlining Legal Immigration”. The purposes of Section 3, “Enhance travel and tourism”, include facilitating: “…more efficient travel by allowing greater flexibility to designate countries for participation in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of designated countries to visit the United States without obtaining a visa.” The POST EAGLE asked Ms. Muñoz: “Will Poland accede to the State Departments VWP if President Obama’s proposal is enacted and becomes our new immigration law?” She responded that President Obama’s proposal does NOT include mention of any countries by name, and that Polish Americans ought to support the President’s proposal because it is equitable and good for our national interests.
Mr. Frank Dmuchowski for the POLISH WEEKLY/TYGODNIK POLSKI, based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, also asked how President Obama’s proposal is linked with Poland’s accession to the VWP, and he received an answer similar to what Ms. Muñoz told this writer.
Polish Americans want to know if the President’s proposal will ensure Poland’s accession to the State Department’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Polish Americans have been lobbying, with very meager results, for Poland’s accession to the VWP since 2002. At the October 2010 Polish American Congress Council of National Directors Meeting in Chicago, National Vice President for American Affairs, Dean Anthony Bajdek opined that Poland’s accession to the VWP is being blocked by the United States Government until Poland pays lump-sum compensation for World War II era private property.