Wave of Chechen immigration into Poland after Boston Marathon tragedy Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Current News

We all know what happened on April 15th 2013 in Boston:( Very sad and scary story! It had huge impact on USA and citizens, but it also made some changes in Europe…Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, two brothers with Chechen origins stood behind the bombing.

The Boston bombing has triggered a wave of Chechen immigration into Poland (Czeczeńska imigracja do Polski) owing to fears the attack during the marathon could prompt the EU to harden its borders.

Image by marsmet532a on

Image by marsmet532a on

In the first weeks of May alone 1,943 Chechens applied for refugee status (status uchodźcy) in Poland compared to just 616 in January. Officials estimate that if the trend continues by the end of the year the number of refugees could jump by 30 per cent to 24,000.

Polish officials say the bloodletting and consequent damage to the Chechen reputation has fuelled fears in the war-torn country that the EU will tighten restrictions on Chechen immigration.

On top of that increasing anti-Chechen sentiment in Russia (nastroje anty-Czeczeńskie w Rosji), and more advanced people-smuggling operations have also contributed to the growing number of Chechens fleeing westwards.

An increase in the number of Chechen refugees in Poland could also lead to more illegal migration (nielegalna migracja) in Europe. Under EU regulations asylum seekers (ubiegający się o azyl) must remain in the country where they have applied for refugee status, only 20-30 per cent of those who apply in Poland stay in Poland. The rest disperse across the EU, with the majority going to Germany. Official Polish figures show that of the 2,060 requests by foreign countries to return illegal Chechen migrants to Poland 1,400 of them came from Germany.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.