Poland Passes Law to Turn Away Migrants at Border and Build a Wall

A Polish soldier works on the construction of a barbed wire fence on the border with Belar
JAAP ARRIENS/AFP via Getty Images

The Polish parliament has passed a new law that will see illegal migrants turned away at the border and banned from entering Poland for a number of years, and a wall on the border with Belarus funded.

The legislation was passed on Thursday by Poland’s parliament, and will allow Polish border guards to turn away migrants at the border and push them back to the country they illegally crossed from.

The law also states that anyone caught entering Poland illegally will be banned from entering the country again from a period of six months to three years, and also states that asylum claims from those who have entered Poland illegally can be ignored, broadcaster SVT reports.

According to the EU-funded website InfoMigrnats, there are exceptions for asylum seekers who have come directly from a country where their lives and freedoms are threatened and have not stopped in other countries before coming to Poland.

Polish lawmakers have also given the go-ahead to build a wall on the roughly 250-mile border with Belarus, estimated to cost around  €353 million.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic is believed to be engineering the surge in crossings by migrants — originally from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, for the most part — in order to punish Poland for sheltering Belarusian dissidents.

Poland’s Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said the wall would be a “solid high barrier with a surveillance system of cameras and movement sensors.”

A similar barrier has been built in Greece along the country’s land border with Turkey and is also equipped with “extremely technologically advanced” surveillance systems according to the Minister of Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis.

Both Greece and Poland are among 12 signatories to a letter addressed to the European Union earlier this month which called on the political bloc to do more to tackle illegal immigration.

Tensions along the border with Belarus have increased in recent weeks, with reports that Belarusian forces opened fire at Polish personnel stations along the border, although no one was injured during the inciden.

A spokeswoman for the Polish border guard speculated that the shots fired were not live ammunition.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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