Illegal migrants still press Poland’s eastern border

Photo: Artur Widak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Close to 100 individuals attempted to illegally enter Poland from Belarus on Thursday, as stated in the latest report from the Border Guard. Among them were migrants from Gambia and Sri Lanka. 22 of these individuals turned back to Belarus when they spotted Polish patrols, as reported by the Border Guard on Twitter.

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Additional individuals were detained for aiding in the illegal border crossing. In the area of the Border Guard post in Czeremsza, a Ukrainian national was apprehended while transporting five Syrians. In the area of the Border Guard post in Mielnik, a Moldovan was apprehended for smuggling 17 Syrians.

According to the Border Guard data, a total of 326 individuals and organizers have been detained for aiding in illegal border crossings from Belarus in 2023, including the figures reported on Friday.

Since the beginning of the year, the Border Guard has recorded nearly 10,000 attempts of illegal border crossings from Belarus into Poland. In March and April, there were approximately 2,500 such attempts, and in May, the total exceeded 2,100. The migrants came from over 40 countries.

There is an electronic barrier consisting of a system of cameras and sensors along the 206 km Polish-Belarusian border. This serves as a complement to the steel barrier, 5.5 meters high, constructed along 186 km of the border last year.

All road border crossings with Belarus in the Podlaskie region are closed until further notice. Only the railway crossings in Kuźnica and Siemianówka remain operational.

Currently, regulations regarding the border strip are in effect in the region, and restrictions are governed by the governor’s regulation issued in September 2021, which prohibits staying within the entire stretch of the border strip (15 meters into the country from the state border line or from the border waters’ edge) along the border with Belarus, which is also the external EU border. The governor’s regulation from February of this year regarding order regulations in the border area adjacent to the state border within the province is also in effect.