Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Poland stages border operation but migrant flow continues

Image copyright Stanislaw Kiecolt-Glaser/©2018 DPA Image caption The Turkish border crossing into Syria

Poland has launched a programme against illegal migration, but it has failed to stem the influx.

Figures compiled by the country’s interior ministry show that more than 9,400 attempts have been made by migrants to cross into Poland in the past eight weeks, accounting for the arrests of 1,200 people.

Other nations in central and eastern Europe have seen even higher numbers and some police have said the problem is getting worse.

Poland’s government is to launch an unprecedented law enforcement operation targeting migrants entering the country illegally.

The programme will see 1,200 police officers and soldiers deployed to the border.

It will focus on areas where migrants are known to be in the hope of securing the borders and closing off migrant routes in the region.

The tactic has been used in the past – notably by US border troops to slow down immigration from Mexico.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More than 140,000 illegal immigrants came to Britain in 2016

It was introduced in 2015 after a surge in migrant entries by refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Polish interior ministry statistics show the country’s border controls were closed in March, but only partially. In total there have been 2,400 arrests this year, of which 1,100 have been for trying to cross the border illegally.

According to the journal Die Welt am Sonntag, about 160,000 immigrants have been caught trying to cross the border from western to eastern Europe over the past few years.

Earlier this year, Polish interior minister Joachim Brudzinski announced the country would invest 800m zlotys (£160m; 130m euros) in security measures, in part to turn back migrants approaching the border illegally.

Image copyright g-photo / HEPA Image caption People attempting to leave Afghanistan by boat and then walk up to the border with Turkey, between Turkey and Greece.

Earlier this month, a transport minister from Serbia said that she had noticed that Afghan migrants were only entering that country at night, making it harder for police to spot them.

In Hungary, illegal immigration officials say they’re taking a different approach to help get migrants out of the country and into more orderly immigration centres.

Police are looking for resources and equipment in an effort to prevent migrants from walking the border with either police or soldiers.

“Our strategy is to work for years to get smaller numbers of migrants, then, to get larger numbers in each year so that we can control the numbers,” Eleftheria Venklose, an official with the police department that handles illegal immigration, told The New York Times.

Read more

More articles

Latest article