Donald Tusk spreads misleading information on true number of Muslim migrants legally working in Poland

According to official data, the number of migrants from Muslim countries granted work permits in Poland last year is five times lower than the opposition leader claims

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Anna Zyzek

Poland’s opposition leader Donald Tusk recently claimed that the country’s conservative government had granted work permits to 135,000 migrants “from Muslim countries” last year. However, government data published by the Internal Affairs Ministry debunked this claim, revealing the true figure was nearer 30,000, more than four times lower.

Donald Tusk, the leader of Civic Platform, addressed Poland’s migration policy on July 4 in a Twitter video, accusing PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński of bringing “130,000 citizens from Muslim countries” to Poland in 2022.

Tusk also discussed the issue during a meeting in late June with supporters in Jelenia Góra. “I want you all to know it and repeat it, 135,000 migrants just from Muslim countries were let into Poland in 2022,” he stated.

The former Polish prime minister and Eurocrat also accused the Polish government of welcoming an uncontrolled number of people that “later are left unattended in Poland.”

PiS politicians reminded that the numbers given by Tusk and other PO politicians are work permits, which differ from the actual number of migrants that came to Poland.

Minister of Internal Affairs Mariusz Kamiński told the Interia.pl portal that around 30,000 visas were issued to migrants from all Muslim-majority countries, including citizens of Turkey (over 9,000), Uzbekistan (over 5,000), Indonesia (2,712), Kazakhstan (2,627), Azerbaijan (2,288), Turkmenistan (2,249), Kyrgyzstan (1,621) and Bangladesh (1,591).

Other countries on the list such as Kosovo, Egypt, Tajikistan and Pakistan had fewer than 1,000 working visas issued, while Morocco, Nigeria, Iran, Syria and Jordan had fewer than 100.

“The factual data on working visas issued by Poland show the scale of Donald Tusk’s manipulation. He provides a number almost five times higher than in reality,” stressed Kamiński.

The internal affairs minister added that “a year ago, Donald Tusk advocated for receiving migrants directed to the Polish border by Belarusian special services,” pointing out that Tusk described them as “poor people who are trying to find a place for themselves in the world” and criticized the motion to construct a border barrier.

“This is a man who has used lies as a tool of doing politics, which is absolutely unacceptable when it comes to Poland’s national security,” concluded Kamiński.

Recently, the EU brought back the issue of relocating migrants between EU member states. This has become the number one topic in the ongoing parliamentary election pre-campaign in Poland.

Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party is strongly against the bloc’s “mandatory solidarity” it claims is being forced upon the country by Brussels. Jarosław Kaczyński, the ruling party’s leader, announced that a national referendum would be held on the same day as the national elections to decide on Poland’s compliance with the plan.

On Thursday (July 6), Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met with opposition leaders to discuss migrant relocation, but representatives of Civic Platform (PO) and the Left were not present.

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