That is not going to happen. Your Polish heritage is irrelevant in obtaining a residence permit.
Dominic, I'm sorry, but you're wrong here. There actually is a provision in the permanent residency law for people that can be claimed as Polish to obtain permanent residency.
I was wondering if anyone out there has been through this process already and could provide some insight?
It's straightforward. You need to have at least one Polish (as in ethnically Polish, not a Polish citizen) grandparent or two great-grandparents to be eligible - or they have to have been Polish citizens (if they weren't ethnically Polish).
migrant.info.pl/polish-descent-2440.html - there's more details here, though it's mixed up with information about the Karta Polaka. And here - migrant.info.pl/permanent-residence-permit.html
Generally speaking, it's not much to worry about - they'll only interrogate you if there's something wrong with your application. Make sure to submit proof of Polish skills, but if you turn up speaking Polish at B2+ level, it's likely that the interview will be a short one. They're simply looking for you to show that you have a link to the Polish nation, so of course, it's good to be able to talk about what you've done in the USA to connect to Poland, etc etc.
Yes, but I don't think you can get permanent residence right away.
He can, interestingly enough. It's in place specifically for those who can't get citizenship, but who can be claimed as Polish. I think it's quite fair, especially as it doesn't give any rights outside of Poland.