Poland Accuses Germany of Violating Asylum Rules by Dropping Off Migrants at Border

Warsaw has accused Berlin of “arbitrarily” violating asylum rules

The Polish Border Guard has demanded that its German counterpart explain why a family of migrants was dropped off on Polish soil last week. According to reports in the Polish media, thousands of migrants have been sent from Germany to Poland in similar circumstances.

A German police car dropped two adult Afghan migrants and three children near the town of Osinow Dolny near the German border last Friday, the chojna24 news site reported. Polish police failed to find the migrant family when they searched the area, news outlet Dziennik reported on Monday.

“The German Police’s bringing and leaving foreigners in Poland was in violation of the principles of cooperation between both services,” the Border Guard said in a statement. “German services cannot make such decisions arbitrarily.”

The Border Guard added that it “immediately contacted the German side to explain the circumstances of the incident,” and that the agency’s commander in chief would discuss the issue with the president of Germany’s Federal Police on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Polish journalist Aleksandra Fedorska that German police had returned 3,500 migrants to Poland between January and May of this year, citing data provided by Berlin. These migrants were reportedly among around 5,600 who crossed into Germany illegally after filing asylum applications in Poland.

Under the EU’s Dublin Regulation, a migrant’s asylum claim must be processed in the country where they first apply for asylum. This agreement provides a legal basis for states to return asylum seekers who move across the bloc’s largely open borders.

A German police spokesman told Polish newspaper Fakt that the family dropped off on Friday had entered Germany illegally after being granted refugee status in Poland. German officers apprehended the family and attempted to contact the Polish Border Guard, but said they received no answer.

“Since there was no reaction from the Polish side for several hours, the officers decided to take the family to the Polish-German border…in order to release them to Poland,” the spokesman said.

Germany and Poland have clashed on the issue of migration before, with Germany Polish ambassador Dariusz Pawlos last year over reports in the Polish media suggesting that officials in Warsaw were selling visas to African and Asian migrants who then left Poland for Germany and other EU countries.

Berlin responded by stepping up police patrols along Germany’s Polish and Czech borders. “Things cannot remain as they are now,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at the time, revealing that “more than 70 percent of all refugees” arriving in Germany had been registered in other EU countries, but disposed of their documents upon reaching German soil.