Who Assists Irregular Migrants in Poland and at What Cost? A Court Files’ Analysis of Convictions of Facilitating Unauthorised Stay of Migrants

Monika Szulecka,

Witold Klaus

Abstrakt

The aim of the article is to present one of the facets of the state’s approach towards irregular migration, namely identification of and reaction of the law enforcement and judiciary to the offence of facilitating or enabling unauthorised stay of another person and gaining personal or material profits from it (introduced to the Polish legislation in 2004). Based on the analysis of court files of 243 criminal cases, we indicate forms of facilitation of unauthorised stay (with predominance of document frauds) and analyse the features of the constitutive elements of the offence, i.e. facilitators, persons whose stay is enabled, and profits. We conclude that among convicted facilitators there are those whose intensions were far from enabling the stay of another person and actual facilitators often remained unidentified. We also point to doubtful court decisions, in particular those regarding undetermined profits and recipients or recipients sentenced as facilitators. Thus, we prove that despite the declared prioritisation of irregular migration as a problem to be tackled in Poland, the practice of the law enforcement agents and the courts reveals a determination to achieve easy targets, following known paths, as well as abandoning areas that require more attention and possibly also efforts.

Słowa kluczowe: facilitation of unauthorised stay, irregular migration, internal control, criminal court cases, Poland
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