A detention center for illegal immigrants has opened in Przemysl in southeastern Poland to deal with the surge in illegal aliens that Poland has experienced since joining the EU.
The 11 million złoty building, the second such facility in Poland, can accommodate almost 200 illegals – men, women and children. Plans are to build three centres elsewhere
in the country. The first facility, in Lesznowa, has been open since 1996. Those who are detained at the centres stay up to six months while the government considers whether to give them residency. If no decision is made within the six months, they are deported.
The Przemysl centre has separate rooms for men, women and families. Outside are an athletic field and a children’s playground. The area is fenced and monitored by the cameras. The Border Guard at Bieszczady oversees the centre. There is a fence around it with monitoring cameras. Guards patrol it. The location – close to where the Polish, Ukrainian and Slovak borders converge – wasn’t chosen by accident. The number of
illegals trying to cross Poland in that area to get to other EU countries has been rising. In 2006 Border Guards in Bieszczady caught 455 people trying to traverse Poland, mainly from Ukraine,
Moldova and Vietnam. Some of their quests turned tragic. This year in April, three Chechen sisters – 13, 10 and 6 – died of exposure in the mountains near Bieszczady. The girls’ mother had become lost and gone for help, taking her 2-year-old son with her. Police said the family had spent four days in the rain and cold. The bodies were found at the 3,600 foot level of the mountains. Their mother was in shock for weeks.
Poland’s first immigrant centre, in Lesznowa, accommodated 331 illegals from 44 countries last year. They included people from Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan, India, Ghana and Congo. “The centres in Lesznowa and Przemysl are absolutely too little” to meet the need, said Border Guard Major Mark Osetek, director of the Przemysl centre. That has led the government to draft plans to open additional centres located in Ketrzyn, Bialystok and Biała Podlaska.