Poland: controversy over admission of refugees

politics | Sep 29, 2015 | By Martin Barillas

In Poland, a former presidential candidate, Pawel Kukiz, denounced the country’s leadership for accepting refugee quotas imposed by the EU. He suggested that most of the thousands of mostly Middle Eastern migrants are male   "peasants," who are "healthy as bulls." 
 
Kukiz - who is also known as a rock musician - is the leader of the eponymous Kukiz's Movement political party. In May, he garnered 21 percent of the vote with a populist message. Speaking on Polish television on September 28, Kukiz said that Europ’s immigration policies are broken, and suggested that "if we continue to conduct such a policy toward refugees, more and more children will wash up on the beach." However, while saying "everything must be done to avoid the deaths of women and children," the majority of the migrants appear to be "peasant" men, "healthy as bulls," who "smile as they jump out of the boat," adding "I have seen such pictures." He expressed indignation that these men appear to have abandoned their families to their fate at the hands of Islamic State terrorism or the government of Syria’s President Bashr Al-Assad. "What kind of man leaves his wife and children and flees in the face of war? Why not go to Turkey, if you're fleeing a war? Why not help your wife and children go to Turkey?" the politician asked. Kukiz was the lead for a rock band, 'Breasts', which was controversial for a song that stirred up anti-Christian sentiments.
 
Kukiz suggested that adhering to Brussels' policy will only encourage more refugees to make their often-hazardous journey, resulting in more tragedies and deaths. For example, Germany is expecting 1 million refugees by the end of 2016. He was also skeptical about the Polish government’s promise of a program to winnow out genuine refugees fleeing war and danger from so-called economic migrants and terrorists.
 
"How are the authorities going to verify who is a political refugee and who is an immigrant here to make a living? It took police took four whole days to chase down a crook from Wolowa who escaped from prison, hit a priest with the handle of a shovel, and roamed freely about Poland. And they want us to believe that they will be able to verify who is and is not a terrorist? How? Our state exists only in theory."
 
Poland has decided to accept quotas imposed by the European Union, admitting about 7,000 asylum seekers from the Middle East will be moved to Poland under the scheme. Critics of the EU refugee program say Poland's first obligation should be toward ethnic Poles expelled from their homes under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and to their descendants. Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said on September 28 that her Cabinet will earmark $8 million for the "repatriation" of ethnic Poles. Poland has also admitted families from Kazakhstan and conflict-torn eastern Ukraine.

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