WARSAW — Poland is mulling setting up special camps where asylum seekers would be housed in containers and kept behind fences in the event of another migration crisis, according to the country’s interior minister.
Warsaw wants asylum seekers to be housed in converted shipping containers.
“The thing is to be ready for such a situation in the form of places in which those waiting for deportation would be kept who may try to break the law,” Mariusz Błaszczak told Polish radio on Tuesday. “That’s all it entails. Besides, there are similar container camps in France and in Germany.”
It’s a very similar approach to one adopted by Hungary, which has come under fire from the EU for its harsh approach to asylum seekers.
The camps are part of an overhaul of the asylum system to restrict migration planned by the country’s Law and Justice party (PiS) government. It would allow border guards to detain asylum seekers for up to 28 days along the border while their applications are processed, “which will prevent efforts to illegally move to Western Europe.”
A second initiative sets the rules for temporary migrant camps, including regulations allowing them to be housed in converted shipping containers, “in the event of a mass inflow of foreigners onto the territory of the Republic of Poland.”
The idea is popular politically. A recent survey by the CBOS organization found that 74 percent of Poles don’t want migrants from Africa or the Middle East in their country — among supporters of Law and Justice the figure was almost 90 percent.