This article was published in the Chicago Sun-Times on January 10, 2012.

Asociated Press

Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley are headed to Poland to talk with officials there about adding the country to the visa-waiver program.

Most visitors to the United States enter through the program, which allows travelers from dozens of countries that have good relations with the U.S. to temporarily visit without a visa. Proponents want to add other countries whose residents are unlikely to illegally move to the U.S. That includes Poland.

Kirk says it’d be good for Chicago’s tourist economy to enter the program.

The Chicago area has one of the largest concentrations of Polish people outside Poland. Experts estimate at least 900,000 Polish nationals and Polish-Americans live in the area.