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H.R. 5730 (109th): To designate Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as program countries under the visa waiver program established under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.


The text of the bill below is as of Jun 29, 2006 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5730

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 29, 2006

(for himself, Mr. McCotter, Mr. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida, Mr. Wexler, Ms. Bordallo, and Mrs. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To designate Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as program countries under the visa waiver program established under section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

1.

Findings

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Since before the fall of the Soviet Union, the nations of Eastern Europe have proven their steadfast dedication to the causes of freedom and friendship with the United States, exemplified by the brave actions of Polish patriots during the American Revolution, Czech resistance to Nazi occupation and Hungarian revolutions against the Soviet Union despite overwhelming opposition.

(2)

Eastern European history provides pioneering examples of constitutional democracy and religious tolerance.

(3)

The United States is home to over 15,000,000 people of Eastern European ancestry.

(4)

Eastern European immigrants have contributed greatly to the success of industry and agriculture in the United States.

(5)

Since the demise of communism, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have become stable, democratic nations.

(6)

All of these countries have adopted economic policies that promote free markets and rapid economic growth.

(7)

On April 15, 1991, Poland unilaterally repealed the visa requirement for United States citizens traveling to Poland for 90 days or less.

(8)

On April 30, 2004, the Czech Republic unilaterally repealed the visa requirement for United States citizens traveling to the Czech Republic for 90 days or less.

(9)

On November 1, 1990, Hungary unilaterally repealed the visa requirement for United States citizens traveling to Hungary for 90 days or less.

(10)

The Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of State administer the visa waiver program, which allows citizens from 27 countries, including France and Germany, to visit the United States as tourists without visas.

2.

Rendering certain Eastern European coutries visa waiver program countries

Effective on the date of the enactment of this Act, and notwithstanding section 217(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1187(c)), Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania shall be deemed designated program countries for purposes of the visa waiver program established under section 217 of such Act.