Monday was Casimir Pulaski Day, which had Illinois politicians talking about Poland.
They turn up at a commemoration at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, where there’s an annual ceremony. Gov. Bruce Rauner was a first-time speaker yesterday.
“There is no more important relationship the Americans have today, the United States had today, than with Poland. Poland is about democracy, about freedom, and the Polish-American community is one of the most important communities in Illinois and in America, he said.
Other politicians discussed the visa waiver program. Poland is not one of the 38 countries whose citizens can visit the United States for 90 days without a Visa, but inclusion is in the immigration reform measure that passed the Senate two years ago but never was called for a vote in the House. U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) and Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) and U.S. Srn. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) all vowed today that inclusion will come.
The Polish ambassador to the United States, Ryszard Schnepf, noted that Casimir Pulaski himself probably would not have been granted a visa if one had been required at the time.
Pulaski was a Polish nobleman who served as a general in the American Revolution, even saved the life of George Washington. He was killed in battle in 1779. The day is a state holiday in Illinois.