America Abandoned Trump’s Wall But Poland Plans To Build One To Stop Migrants

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Thousands of migrants -- mostly from the Middle East -- have crossed or attempted to cross from Belarus into the eastern EU member states of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in recent months
Poland is planning to construct a wall on its border with Belarus amid an influx in migrants crossing the border. In photo: Poland-Belarus border.

Poland is planning to build a wall on its border with Belarus to stop migrants from trying to cross over, a draft bill due for discussion by lawmakers has revealed.

The border wall will require 1.6 billion zlotys ($404 million) to be erected, CNN reported. News of the draft bill came as German police reported a surge in migrants illegally entering Germany, which is considered a popular destination for asylum seekers.

Migrants first cross the Belarus-Polish border before making their way westward across Poland and into Germany. The new wall is expected to include cameras and motion sensors to further improve border security. The exact budget funds are expected to be available after engineering documentation is accomplished.

There has been criticism about the alleged inhumane treatment of migrants at the Belarus-Polish border. Poland started building a barbed-wire fence along its border with Belarus in August.

Poland has also imposed a state of emergency on the Belarus border since early September. Poland’s emergency declaration limits the movements of people along the Belarus border. Large gatherings near the area have also been limited.

Poland has accused Belarus of allowing migrants to fly there on false promises of legal entry to the European Union, BBC reported. The EU has also accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of involvement in the influx of migrants into the region as a form of retaliation for sanctions related to presidential election disputes.

Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz said the border situation “is a kind of weaponization of migration.” Lukashenko denied the accusations.

A translation of a Twitter post by Mariusz Kaminski, the Polish Minister of Interior and Administration, on the bill stated that the “Council of Ministers has just adopted a bill on the construction of state border security, submitted by the Ministry of the Interior and Administration.”

Kaminski added that the draft has been forwarded to the Polish parliamentary body, the Sejm, and will take effect one day after its publication in the Polish Journal of Law. Kaminski noted that other similar barriers have worked successfully in other countries.

However, Poland has been criticized by humanitarian groups for forcing some migrants back into Belarus instead of appropriately reviewing whether their asylum applications are eligible, NPR reported.

Migrant Machado Pujol told the outlet that Polish border guards sent him back to Belarus twice where Belarusian soldiers allegedly beat him up using metal pipes. “We are like footballs in a game between Poland and Belarus. Nobody wants us,” Pujol said of the border crisis.

Przydacz has reiterated that if Poland allows more people to pass through its border with Belarus, “then Mr. Lukashenko, who’s also doing business on this, will invite even more of those people. So what should we do?” Poland, along with Lithuania and Latvia, has reported an increase in migrants from Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico, which has been abandoned since his successor Joe Biden placed a construction moratorium on the project, appears to have been damaged by monsoon rains.

In photos published by Gizmodo in August, floodgates of the wall could be seen blown off their hinges. Before the moratorium, Trump was able to build 452 miles of the border wall.

The stand-off near the village of Usnarz Gorny is one of several similar incidents along Belarus's borders with EU members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland
The stand-off near the village of Usnarz Gorny is one of several similar incidents along Belarus's borders with EU members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland
Photo: AFP / Wojtek RADWANSKI

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