Polish military police are carrying out inspections at the border in cases where migrants, who have been pouring across the frontier in increasing numbers, cross illegally.
Half a million refugees, most of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have poured into Europe this year, leading to an increasingly tense situation. The flow of migrants in to Europe has caused concern and created new friction between the governments in Brussels and Washington, leading to an increase in rhetoric about migrants’ rights to EU relocation centers, to channel more refugees into countries most in need of aid and a resettlement scheme, and to a clampdown on illegal smuggling.
Some newcomers have settled in Berlin, while hundreds of others have been detained in southern Europe, largely because of their criminal pasts.
Often these people have found shelter in the unfinished apartments of refugees now living in large apartment blocks and public buildings, until the authorities reach out to those who were in the camps and have organized tryouts to find apartments in the different EU nations.
Col. Tadeusz Wojtkowiak, a spokesman for Poland’s interior ministry, said in an interview on Thursday that about 6,000 asylum-seekers remained in the country. The Polish authorities do not receive a cash payment from the European Union for the care that they provide, but the facilities are paid for in part from EU budget funds.
The source of their uncertainty and fear was the knock on the door at 5 a.m. It was the immigration inspector in charge of the intake center for the migrants arriving at the crossing. He said a Polish citizen, Sabira Karletwiny, had found her home in a makeshift house during the night.
“About 2:30 a.m., it started raining,” she said. “I thought it was thunder but it was rain. I did not hear any gunshots.
“My neighbor said, ‘It’s a terrorist. It’s a terrorist.'”
At that point, Karletwiny and her friend fled into the woods in an attempt to avoid detection by Polish military police, who were carrying out checks at the border, and a smaller group of people, who were staying in an abandoned building about a quarter of a mile from the border.
Night was falling and the police had gone.
Her friend was at risk of being arrested because she told a false story about being Serbian.
“I didn’t say I was Serbian, because they told me, ‘You must answer on the Russian dialect, because you spoke Polish with your mouth,'” Karletwiny said.
Karletwiny said she remained uncertain whether or not she would be deported. One thing was clear: Life was not going to get better as far as her children are concerned. They would not be able to go to school. They would have to stay with Karletwiny’s mother.
“If it’s night, they will be with us,” she said, only half joking.