After a meeting with the New Zealand prime minister, President Duda responded to a question concerning polish immigration laws. “There are no anti-immigration activities in Poland. We simply do not agree to having people be forcefully brought into our country,” he said.
The question was asked in the context of the Polish president meeting with the “children of Pahiatua”. These are Polish immigrants who were taken in by the New Zealand government in 1944.
Duda also underlined that it is erroneous to compare the situation of those Polish immigrants to the ones currently arriving in Europe. “The Poles wanted to come to New Zealand and the Poles living here do so because it was their decision,” he added.
There are no anti-immigration activities in Poland. We simply do not agree to having people be forcefully brought into our country
When the EU discussed refugee quotas, Poland did say it was unacceptable to force people to come to the country and to force them to stay. That would be enslavement.
There are also about one million Ukrainian immigrants living and working in Poland.
The “children of Pahiatua” were mostly children of Poles deported by the Soviets to Siberia. They arrived in Wellington in 1944. The New Zealand government had prepared a Camp of Polish Children in Pahiatua to accommodate them. After its closure in 1949, the children were sent to boarding schools. Later some of them remained in the country or went to live abroad.