The migration crisis at Poland’s border that no one is talking about

The Polish Border Guard estimates around 10,000 migrants have attempted to breach its border with Belarus so far this year

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
A group of some 30 migrants seeking asylum are seen in Białowieża, Poland, on Sunday, May 28, 2023, across a wall that Poland has built on its border with Belarus to stop massive migrant pressure. (AP Photo/Agnieszka Sadowska)

Tensions remain high along the Świsłocz River separating Poland and Belarus where dozens of migrants congregate each day demanding safe passage into Europe.

Last week, footage released by the Associated Press news agency showed a group of migrants standing at the 190 kilometer border fence erected by the Polish government, pleading with authorities to allow them to cross into EU territory.

“Poland, Poland, Poland,” the group could be heard chanting as they grasped the metal fence in front of them, a barricade that has helped to stem the flow of illegal immigration the Polish government states has been facilitated by the Russia-aligned Lukashenko regime in Minsk as a form of “hybrid warfare” against the West.

Pro-refugee groups on the scene called for the Polish Border Guard to allow the group into the country, insisting they were already on Polish territory and claiming that Belarus officials were refusing to accept them back, telling them they would be tortured if they tried to return.

The Belarusian services, as this group has told us, are threatening threaten them that if they return, they will be beaten, or that they will kill them,” activist Marta Staniszewska told journalists.

Polish authorities, however, face a dilemma, as allowing groups through the grandiose infrastructure constructed on its eastern border would set a precedent and encourage more migrants to fly into Russia or Belarus before trying their luck at reaching Europe through the Polish door.

“All of the migrants go to Moscow and then to Belarus,” the Polish Border Guard said earlier this month, claiming many foreign nationals heading toward the border have been issued with Russian visas in recent days.

The lesser known Eastern Land Border migratory route was trekked by 1,561 migrants in the first four months of this year, according to official figures published by Frontex, the EU’s border agency. However, Polish authorities believe the figure to be much higher, and given the nature of the illicit activity, any figure is naturally going to be on the low side.

Earlier this month, the Polish Border Guard revealed they had recorded over 9,400 illegal crossing attempts from Belarus into Poland so far this year involving migrants from over 40 countries.

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