The Polish interior minister, Mariusz Błaszczak, has promised new migration laws which will boost national security, strengthen the country’s borders, and make it easier to expel illegal migrants.
“Our main concern is security”, said the Law and Justice (PiS) representative, “followed by sealing the borders, and thirdly the introduction of procedures facilitating the expulsion of people entering – or trying to enter – Poland illegally”.
Radio Poland reports the politically populist, socially conservative government’s intention is to target, in particular, illegal migrants using Poland as a so-called “transit country” on their way to generous welfare states such as Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
“If migrants … know they cannot get across the Polish border, they will not try it”, said Błaszczak, emulating the hard line on illegal migration taken by neighbouring Hungary which was subject to hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossings until the government took the decision to rapidly construct border fences.
Pushback from EU member-states in Central and Eastern Europe on mass migration and open borders have led to a number of flare-ups between Brussels and, in particular, the Visegrad Group of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
All of the so-called V4 governments have opposed a Brussels-led plan to share migrants invited to the EU in unlimited numbers by German Chancellor Angela Merkel across the bloc through compulsory quotas, and Left-liberal politicians in the West are trying to come up with ways to bring them to heel.
Poland’s new government – the first to win a majority mandate from voters since the fall of Communism – has been subjected to an unprecedented EU probe into “democracy and the rule of law”, while the European Commission is attempting to fine member-states which refuse to take part in its compulsory quota system €250,000 per unaccepted migrant.
More recently, a leading Swedish MEP has proposed a modification to the Commission proposal, suggesting the EU withhold funds rather than impose fines.
EU governments resistant to the prevailing wisdom on mass immigration and open borders have taken heart from the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. Both the Czech president and the Hungarian government have welcomed him as an ally in a broader struggle against “EU elites” who put pro-migration ideology ahead of “the safety of [their] citizens”.