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updated: 2/5/2013 8:22 AM

Illinois lawmakers back visas for Polish citizens

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Associated Press

Three members of Illinois' congressional delegation have reintroduced legislation that would waive visas for visitors to the U.S. from countries like Poland.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and congressmen Mike Quigley and Aaron Schock reintroduced the Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act on Monday. The program allows foreign citizens of participating countries to travel without a visa in the U.S. for up to 90 days.

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While Poland is a key U.S. ally, the country isn't included at least partly out of concern Polish visitors will stay as illegal immigrants. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and congressmen Luis Gutierrez, Adam Kinzinger, Dan Lipinski, Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider and John Shimkus also support the program.

The metropolitan Chicago area is home to nearly 1 million residents of Polish ancestry.

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