WBEZ | Mike Quigley http://www.wbez.org/tags/mike-quigley Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Polish community may get travel perk from immigration reform http://www.wbez.org/news/polish-community-may-get-travel-perk-immigration-reform-107412 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Polish visa waivers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many in Chicago&rsquo;s Polish community hope immigration reform will finally deliver a travel perk they&rsquo;ve long been seeking: Poland&rsquo;s inclusion on the list of countries who don&#39;t need visas to travel to the U.S. The visa requirement has long been a gripe among many in Chicago&rsquo;s sizeable Polish-American community, who perceive it as a diplomatic slight. They cite Poland&rsquo;s assistance during U.S. military operations (that were otherwise unpopular in the European Union), and wonder why they&rsquo;re among just a handful of European countries excluded from the Visa Waiver Program.</p><p>&ldquo;U.S. citizens are not required (to have) a Polish visa to come to Poland for 90 days,&rdquo; said Robert Rusiecki, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. &ldquo;And over the years when Poland has been a member of NATO, we proved to be a strong ally for the United States and we were everywhere we were required, including Iraq and Afghanistan.&rdquo;</p><p>Ruscieki said Polish tourists to the U.S. should be treated the same as U.S. tourists to Poland.</p><p>To get a tourist visa to the U.S., prospective Polish visitors have to fill out a <a href="http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_4401.html" target="_blank">detailed online application</a>, pay a <a href="http://www.ustraveldocs.com/pl/pl-niv-paymentinfo.asp" target="_blank">non-refundable $160 visa fee</a>, and schedule a screening interview at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw or the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow. In many cases, U.S. officials refuse to issue the visa, which means applicants lose whatever money they spent. By contrast, <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/business_pleasure/vwp/faq_vwp.xml#GeneralInformationontheVisaWaiverProgram" target="_blank">many of Poland&rsquo;s neighboring countries in the EU</a> are exempt from this process. Their citizens are, like all non-U.S. citizens, simply checked at a U.S. port of entry after they get off their plane.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s long overdue to include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program, especially for a city like Chicago, who probably has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw,&rdquo; said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois). The <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_SF4/B01003/312M100US169801714000/popgroup~551" target="_blank">City of Chicago is home to more than 175,000</a> people who claim Polish ancestry, but <a href="http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/10_SF4/B01003/310M100US16980/popgroup~551" target="_blank">roughly 940,000 are estimated to live in the metro region</a>.</p><p>Quigley has introduced the <a href="http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/490" target="_blank">Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act</a>, along with U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Illinois) and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). The bill is the latest version of previous legislation that he has introduced in Congress. All have aimed to change the Visa Waiver Program&rsquo;s criteria such that they would allow Poland and some other countries to participate&mdash;and so far, all have died.</p><p>&ldquo;I tell my colleagues this isn&rsquo;t your father&rsquo;s Visa Waiver Program,&rdquo; Quigley said. &ldquo;It gives us so much more information, it actually makes us safer.&rdquo;</p><p>Quigley said his previous attempts to change the Visa Waiver Program hit a wall because some legislators worried it could ease the way for dangerous people to gain entry to the U.S. But he said a tighter, post-9/11 system to capture biometric information&mdash;namely, fingerprints&mdash;from people who enter the U.S. has mitigated that threat.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re dealing with countries that we have good relationships with, we&rsquo;re getting information about our travelers that&rsquo;s far better than if we don&rsquo;t have a Visa Waiver Program,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Quigley is also a sponsor of the <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr1354ih/pdf/BILLS-113hr1354ih.pdf" target="_blank">Jobs Originating through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act</a>, introduced by Rep. Joseph Heck (R-Nevada), which emphasizes projected economic gains from increased tourism to the U.S., should more countries be allowed into the Visa Waiver Program. Proponents of the legislation cite figures from the U.S. Travel Association, projecting an additional $7 billion of revenues from visitors coming from additional countries in the program.</p><p>Some believe a good portion of Polish tourist dollars would be spent right here, in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;People in Poland know about this place,&rdquo; said Dan Pogorzelski, Executive Director of the Greater Avondale Chamber of Commerce, whose members include a number of Polish-American businesses. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re trying to brand this neighborhood as a tourist destination to Poles.&rdquo;</p><p>Several of the same principles behind expanding the Visa Waiver Program are also embedded in Section 4506 of the <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/686529-immigration-border-security-economic-opportunity.html" target="_blank">mammoth immigration reform bill</a> under consideration in the U.S. Senate. Quigley, and others in Chicago&rsquo;s Polish-American leadership, believe the momentum of immigration reform may finally propel the effort forward.</p><p>But a <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-602T" target="_blank">recent report from the Government Accountability Office</a> suggests a possible snag with how the proposed bills would change the program. Currently, countries may participate in the Visa Waiver Program if they have a combination of low overstay rates and very low refusal rates. Overstay rates are the percentage of people who come to the U.S. from a given country, and then stay beyond the valid period of their visas. The refusal rate is the percentage of applicants from a given country that are denied visas. This can be for a variety of reasons, but often the visa is denied on suspicion that the applicant will try to immigrate illegally to the U.S. by overstaying their visa.</p><p>Quigley and other proponents of expanding the Visa Waiver Program champion the idea of lifting the limit on refusal rates if a country has proven to be a good ally of the U.S. This would effectively get Poland in the door. But it also assumes that the U.S. has a good handle on what the overstay rates are from each country. According to the GAO report, that&rsquo;s simply not the case.</p><p>&ldquo;DHS [Department of Homeland Security] has not yet implemented a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts underway to assess options for such a capability at airports and seaports,&rdquo; the report states.</p><p>Since 1994, DHS and its predecessors have not reported country-by-country overstay rates, though they have been federally required to do so. The department has yet to persuade airports and airlines to implement a systematic procedure to fingerprint travelers just before they board planes to leave the U.S.</p><p>Last month, that meant DHS had upward of 1 million people that it knew had arrived in the U.S., but could not verify whether they had left. The report notes that five of the nine 9/11 hijackers were people who had overstayed their temporary visas.</p><p>&ldquo;It makes no sense to go forward with this without the data system that we need to serve as a sound basis for judging the readiness of some of these countries,&rdquo; said Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the conservative Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, DC. &ldquo;The risk is that if the standards that we set are not high enough, we&rsquo;re going to open up a new avenue for illegal immigration to occur, because people are able to come with the presumption that they&rsquo;re going to be eligible.&rdquo;</p><p>Quigley said he&rsquo;s not concerned about the GAO&rsquo;s report on a leaky visa tracking system.</p><p>&ldquo;The processes are in place to improve it, we think that the numbers will be published,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I think Poland was put at a disadvantage by the old criteria, and it was a different time as well.&rdquo;</p><p>In particular, Quigley and many others point to Poland&rsquo;s 2004 inclusion in the EU as a major turning point. They say now that Poles can move freely around Europe for employment, they&rsquo;re much less likely to attempt a risky illegal move to the U.S.</p><p>But Vaughan said that without precise overstay numbers, it&rsquo;s not clear that Poland&mdash;or any country, for that matter&mdash;would qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, even if legislation passes to expand it.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 29 May 2013 10:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/polish-community-may-get-travel-perk-immigration-reform-107412 U.S. Rep. Quigley floats bill to curb bird building collisions http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-05/us-rep-quigley-floats-bill-curb-bird-building-collisions-107319 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/70842820@N00/5735771536/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bird%20by%20billeguerriero.jpg" style="height: 458px; width: 610px;" title="Birds flock near the Chicago River. Chicago's skyline kills more birds than any other in the country. (Bill Guerriero via Flickr)" /></a></div><p>When <a href="http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=5806" target="_blank">Columbia College called on Gensler to restore a historic Michigan Avenue fa├žade</a>, the design team <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XM3vWJmpfo" target="_blank">put a bird on it</a>.</p><p>They had previously discussed Chicago&rsquo;s problem with bird collisions &mdash; due to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/lakefront-landing-strip-migrating-birds-106429" target="_blank">the city&rsquo;s location amid many major migratory routes</a>, Chicago&rsquo;s skyline <a href="http://grist.org/cities/death-from-above-chicagos-bird-casualties-offer-clues-on-climate-change/?utm_campaign=daily&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_content=headline" target="_blank">kills more birds than any other in the country</a> &mdash; but abandoned the idea of plastering a classic Michigan Avenue address with conspicuous bird decals. Instead of dots and lines comprising the frit pattern, they asked, what about stylized bird pictograms?</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/618-s.-michigan.jpg" style="height: 441px; width: 305px; float: left;" title="Design firm Gensler used a pixelated bird pattern frit on the facade of 618 S. Michigan Ave. (Steve Hall)" />&ldquo;At first we were just playing with it, but it turned out to be a really functional, practical way of depicting the image of the old building,&rdquo; said the firm&rsquo;s Chicago design leader Elva Rubio.</p><p>The goal, Rubio said, was to create an abstracted &ldquo;ghost&rdquo; image of the building&rsquo;s original terra cotta facade using a pattern of pixels.</p><p>&ldquo;Your eye doesn&rsquo;t even catch the bird,&rdquo; Rubio said.</p><p>But they hope the pattern will catch the eyes of migrating birds. Gensler&rsquo;s own windows in the nearby Carson Pirie Scott building served as the test kitchen, playing host to more than 50 mock-ups refined using a computational program developed in-house.</p><p>U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) wants to require all federal buildings to explore such bird-safe materials and design features. The Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act, introduced Wednesday, calls for each federal public building constructed, acquired, or altered by the General Services Administration to &ldquo;incorporate, to the maximum extent possible, bird-safe building materials and design features.&rdquo;</p><p>As &ldquo;<a href="http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/105345" target="_blank">the nation&#39;s largest landlord</a>,&rdquo; the GSA could make a dent on the considerable problem of bird collisions. The American Bird Conservancy estimates between 300 million and one billion birds, both resident and migratory, die each year after hurtling into buildings.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CH_HIP_CCC618Facade_12.jpg" style="height: 459px; width: 305px; float: right;" title="Detail on the bird pattern frit at 618 S. Michigan. (Steve Hall)" />Quigley&rsquo;s office said birding generates some $4.4 billion in federal tax revenues, and is responsible for roughly 670,000 jobs. The new bill, which <a href="http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr1643" target="_blank">follows an ill-fated 2011 measure by the same name</a>, has been deemed cost-neutral by the Congressional Budget Office.</p><p>When he was a Cook County Commissioner, Quigley <a href="http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/san-francisco-seeks-bird-safe-buildings/" target="_blank">sponsored legislation in 2008 that codified bird-friendly building guidelines</a>. Quigley, who taught environmental policy at Loyola University and bikes to work at the Capitol, <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2013/01/rep_mike_quigley_snags_appropr.html" target="_blank">recently gained a seat on the influential House Appropriations Committee</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m in a good position to help at the worst possible time,&rdquo; he told scientists at the Chicago Botanic Garden during a &ldquo;<a href="http://quigley.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=793&amp;Itemid=84" target="_blank">climate tour</a>&rdquo; of the Chicago area earlier this month. Climate science deniers have obstructed environmental legislation, he said, so far <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/opinion/sunday/climate-warnings-growing-louder.html?_r=0" target="_blank">squandering Congress&#39; chance to address the global problem through legislation</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m convinced that if it didn&rsquo;t agree with their policy subset,&rdquo; Quigley said later during that tour, &ldquo;[the people I serve with] wouldn&rsquo;t believe in gravity.&rdquo;</p><p>As <a href="http://grist.org/cities/death-from-above-chicagos-bird-casualties-offer-clues-on-climate-change/?utm_campaign=daily&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=newsletter&amp;utm_content=headline" target="_blank">Lori Rotenberk wrote for&nbsp;<em>Grist</em></a>, birds appear to be migrating sooner and even getting smaller &mdash; possibly adaptations to global warming. The source of that data? A library of bird carcasses recovered by the <a href="http://www.birdmonitors.net/" target="_blank">Chicago Bird Collisison Monitors</a>.</p><p><em>Chris Bentley writes about the environment for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/cementley" target="_blank">@cementley</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 22 May 2013 17:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-05/us-rep-quigley-floats-bill-curb-bird-building-collisions-107319 Illinois Dems make wish list for Obama if he wins http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-dems-make-wish-list-obama-if-he-wins-102163 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/photo_28.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Democrats in Charlotte, N.C. are making a wish list for what they&rsquo;d like to see out of a second term in the White House for President Obama.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not that they are taking the presidential election for granted, but officials here are already bringing up many issues they want put in place if a like-minded Democrat keeps the White House.</p><p>&quot;If we really want to jumpstart us and get us out of this quagmire, it has to be based on a solid infrastructure bill,&quot; said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, who represents Chicago&#39;s North Side.</p><p>&quot;I think we need to invest more in our young people and one of those things we need to do is make it easier for kids to go to college or to trade school,&quot; said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.</p><p>&quot;One of the issues I&#39;m very concerned about and I think (Obama) is as well is the challenge of moving people out of poverty and into the middle class,&quot; said Chicago Alderman Will Burns.</p><p>Those three officials won&rsquo;t get a chance to advocate for their issues on center stage at the national convention this week, but others from Illinois will.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth all get their chance to take the microphone later Tuesday evening at the Democratic National Convention.<br /><!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><br /><!--[endif]--></p></p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 14:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/illinois-dems-make-wish-list-obama-if-he-wins-102163 Kirk, Quigley want FBI investigation into Project Shield http://www.wbez.org/story/kirk-quigley-want-fbi-investigation-project-shield-95394 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-09/Kirk and Quigley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Project Shield was intended to be a sophisticated system of video cameras in squad cars and key spots around the suburbs. It was to help with homeland security - transmitting live footage to police during emergency situations. The program was run by Cook County under former Board Presidents John Stroger and Todd Stroger.</p><p>But a new report out Monday by the U.S. Inspector General shows Project Shield was a mismanaged mess. Camera equipment didn't get delivered, and even when it did, it oftentimes didn't even work. The cameras and related equipment for police cars were <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/suburban-police-security-project-shield-failed-all-accounts-88600">revealed to pose safety risks</a>, too, as they were installed in front of airbags - making the technology a potential projectile.</p><p>The $45 million dollars funding the program came from FEMA. In a news conference Monday, U.S. Republican Sen. Mark Kirk says Cook County couldn't have screwed up Project Shield any further if it tried to.</p><p>"So it does appear to be gross incompetence, waste and potential criminal activity was at the heart of this program," Kirk said.</p><p>Kirk was joined at the news conference by U.S. Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, and both called for a FBI investigation into the program. As to why Kirk and Quigley suspect criminal conduct and not just mismanagement, Kirk said, "168 change orders all adding to cost, and yet the I.G. could find no documentation for that. So money was paid to contractors and sub-contractors for additional work and yet we have no idea what they did or how it was accounted for."</p><p>The Inspector General report also found 18% of the decommissioned equipment went missing. Quigley added the failed program essentially put citizens at risk by wasting money that should have gone to security.&nbsp;</p><p>"If you waste money that could build roads, that's bad. There's no apologies that can make up for that. But here, when you waste homeland security money, you are less safe," Quigley said.</p><p>Quigley lamented missed opportunities for the project's $45 million price tag. He said that money could have gone to hiring police officers or making airports safer.</p><p>Quigley was a Cook County commissioner in 2004 when Project Shield got underway. He called for federal investigations into Project Shield in 2009 and was supported shortly thereafter by then Representative and now-Senator Mark Kirk.</p><p>Current Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle shut down the program this summer because she said it was a failure on all accounts. In a statement released Monday, Preckwinkle said, "I am very pleased that the Inspector General not only identified those same issues, but concurs with and supports the new direction of the Department."</p></p> Mon, 09 Jan 2012 15:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/kirk-quigley-want-fbi-investigation-project-shield-95394 Congressman Mike Quigley on the new face of Congress http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/congressman-mike-quigley-new-face-congress <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Quigley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Yesterday marked the beginning of the 112th U.S. Congress. And so begins the power shift brought on by the mid-term elections, what the President dubbed a &quot;shellacking.&quot; Making the transfer official was the first female Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, passed the gavel to Republican John Boehner. As the tides change in Washington, &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; wanted to see how our local legislators are adjusting to it all. <a target="_blank" href="http://quigley.house.gov/">Congressman Mike Quigley</a> started the conversation. Quigley represents Illinois&rsquo; 5th, which includes Chicago&rsquo;s North Side. He sits on two House committees &ndash;Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform. He also co-founded the Bipartisan Transparency Caucus. Quigley&rsquo;s a relative newbie in the house &ndash; he was elected to office in April 2009. But now he&rsquo;s joined by five fresh Republicans colleagues from Illinois. Congressman Mike Quigley joined &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; from Washington D.C.<br /><br />Friday, Republican Congressman Aaron Schock joins &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; to explain what's ahead for his party.</p><p><em>Music Button: Farid featuring Sarah Vertino, &quot;Baleric Express&quot;, from the CD The Sound of Rhythm &amp; Culture, (ESL) </em></p></p> Thu, 06 Jan 2011 14:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/congressman-mike-quigley-new-face-congress Schakowsky: Very much in favor of Nancy Pelosi http://www.wbez.org/story/barack-obama/schakowsky-very-much-favor-nancy-pelosi <p><p>U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said she'll vote for Nancy Pelosi to be the Democratic House Minority Leader.<br /><br />Schakowsky said she thinks Pelosi has been one of the most effective speakers in the history of Congress. &quot;For her not to be reelected becomes a victory for those who have spent millions of dollars, literally millions of dollars, like 61 million dollars to excoriate her, to smear her over the period of this last campaign,&quot;&nbsp;Schakowsky said.</p><p>Schakowsky said even if Nancy Pelosi is elected, she won't be the face of the Democratic party for the next two years, that will be President Barack Obama.<br /><br />Some Democrats like Illinois Representative Mike Quigley have called on Nancy Pelosi to not seek the position of House Minority Leader.</p></p> Fri, 12 Nov 2010 21:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/barack-obama/schakowsky-very-much-favor-nancy-pelosi Congressman Quigley won't run for mayor http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor/congressman-quigley-wont-run-mayor-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-20/AP090303031596-quigley-victory-Rex-Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The list of Chicago mayoral hopefuls is a little shorter today. U.S. Representative Mike Quigley says he will not run.</p><p>Quigley says the idea of running for mayor is very tempting. He says, &quot;As the mayor said, it's one of the great jobs in the world. But I have to think the one I have is pretty great too.&quot;<br /><br />Quigley says instead, he'd rather focus on his Congressional career and prepare for this November's election.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I can look the voters in the eye and say, yes, i'm going to be here twomore years if you're kind enough to re-elect me,&quot; he said.<br /><br />Quigley represents Illinois' 5th Congressional District, previously held by Rahm Emanuel who recently quit his job as White House chief of staff to run for mayor.<br /><br />Quigley wouldn't say who he would support in the mayoral race. But he thinks the next mayor should make the city's finances a priority and take steps to improve ethics at City Hall.</p></p> Wed, 20 Oct 2010 21:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/mayor/congressman-quigley-wont-run-mayor-0