DYSKURS POLITYCZNY WOKÓŁ IMIGRACJI W POLSCE
POLITICAL DISCOURSE SURROUNDING IMMIGRATION IN POLAND
Languages of publication
Although Poland is not yet a country where immigration plays a major role, the opening of Polish borders in 1989 opened up the country to immigrants. In the 20 years after Poland's political transformation, the number of immigrants, even if still insignificant by other EU countries' standards, has grown steadily, so that in 1998 Łodziński wrote "the foreigner-migrant ceased to be the marginal and exotic person which he used to be. Hę has become so prominent and permanent a phenomenon that determination of his legal status and legal arrangements governing his situation in the various fields of social life has become an important issue" (Łodziński 1998). Yet, the number of immigrants, after all, continues to be at such a low level that Iglicka's declaration of 2003 stating that "Poland does not have a comprehensive migration policy, but mere foundations thereof. Neither is there is a doctrine of migration in the political consciousness which could constitute the foundation of coherent migration policies" (Iglicka 2003) is as valid as ever. Based on analysis of the government's ad hoc actions, press releases, experts' statements and data from public opinion polis, certain trends can be noted that may be used as an indicator of the direction which, if not the political discourse itself, then definitely the public discourse around the issue of immigration, is taking. If, as Zapata-Barrero maintains, we assume that the "discourse provides a reference framework and the main source of arguments for both the legitimacy of policies and for the legitimacy of public perceptions/ actions" (Zapata-Barrero, 2009: 50) and, as the author points out, "the design of discourse as a voluntary and intentional act, is aimed at achieving a specific effect, is a political act and transforms itself into a certain policy" (Zapata-Barrero, 2009: 46), then the discourse on immigration becomes crucial because it defines the process of government's handling of multiculturalism, which democracies must, sooner or later, face. This paper presents the result of analysis of public opinion polis and the political discourse on immigration in Poland and simultaneously attempts to explain the direction it takes assessing its possible consequences.
Publication order reference