Europe embraces border walls in what critics say is a stark contrast to Biden's policies

This is not the first time Eastern Europe's NATO members have squared off with Belarus or Russia over immigrants.

Published: May 29, 2024 11:00pm

NATO nations are bolstering their borders, with Poland taking particularly robust measures, in response to threats posed by Russia and Belarus, which critics of the Biden administration say is markedly different from the current security at the U.S. border.

Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Norway and the Baltic States agreed to create a "drone wall" last week, but Poland stepped up support for its border officials after a Polish Army soldier was stabbed by a person attempting to enter from Belarus on Tuesday.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Wednesday visited the Polish border with Belarus and later on X, he pledged to defend his country's "border with all available means" and said that the army, Border Guard and police could count on his "full support." 

The Polish soldier was stabbed after about 50 foreigners attacked Polish patrols by throwing "branches, tree limbs and stones," according to the Polish Border Guard Headquarters. The soldier was stabbed when the illegal immigrants attempted to forcefully cross the border. 

"Almost every day, Border Guard officers face aggression from migrants trying to cross the Polish-Belarusian border. In recent months, attacks by foreigners on services protecting the Polish-Belarusian border have intensified; four border guards were injured," the headquarters also said.

The stabbing came days after Poland announced plans to invest $2.5 billion in security along its borders with Russia and Belarus, according to Voice of America.

When the drone wall was announced Friday, Latvian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said that the region of Europe bordering Russia and Belarus is "facing similar threats," such as the "instrumentalization of migration, cyber attacks, disinformation, sabotage of critical infrastructure and other hybrid threats," which must be countered by joint efforts.

Not the first time

Russia threatened to retaliate against Finland for joining NATO last year, which Finnish officials say Moscow did by allowing hundreds of migrants from countries such as Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan, travel through Russia without documents and arrive at the Finnish border. In response, Finland erected barbed wire and concrete barriers along the border and closed all border crossings with Russia with the exception of a railway crossing for cargo, according to Reuters.

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said "thousands of people in Russia ... are waiting for an opportunity to reach the Finnish border."

During the first quarter of 2024, Poland recorded a 60% increase in foreigners entering the country from Russia compared to the same time period last year, although there has been a 10% decrease in foreigners coming from Belarus, data shows. 

The migrant crisis with Belarus began in 2021 after Belarusian authorities diverted a Ryanair plane to arrest passenger Roman Protasevich, an opposition journalist. Shortly thereafter, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to flood migrants and drugs into Europe if sanctions were imposed on his nation in response to the diversion, The Week reported at the time.

Meanwhile, an investigation by The Telegraph earlier this year revealed that Russia is fueling migration from Africa by using private militias to increase violence and force people to flee the continent to Europe.

Attacks on US Customs officers

Additionally, like border officers in Europe, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers also face threats to their safety, with 212 officers having been assaulted in the first seven months of fiscal year 2024, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Former Trump administration officials are taking notice of the change in European migration policy, as reflected in a brief by Chad Wolf, the former acting deputy director of Homeland Security Deputy, and Robert Law, the former Citizenship and Immigration Services policy chief, published Tuesday by the America First Policy Institute.

"The failed border security policies of the Biden Administration and Brussels are unpopular and are failing Americans and Europeans alike," the brief states

The EU Parliament adopted a Pact on Migration and Asylum earlier this month, and the authors of the brief state that, like the Biden administration, the pact maintains that migrants have the right to make an asylum claim and prioritizes managing illegal immigrants rather than deterring it in the first place.

The brief recommends using an "America First" approach to illegal immigration and enacting border security laws similar to Hungary to solve the current border crisis.

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News